More than 300 "protesters" who shut down a Philadelphia interstate highway during the violent George Floyd riots in the summer of 2020 are about to get paid.
Philadelphia has agreed to divide $9.25 million among 343 people who claimed that they suffered “physical and emotional” injuries as they were arrested for blocking traffic on Interstate 676.
The city reportedly announced the details of the settlement in a class-action lawsuit that focused on the events of May 31 and June 1, 2020, according to The New York Times.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit called for the police to be held accountable over the methods they used to clear protesters and allow traffic to move on the highway.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said of the lawsuit: “The pain and trauma caused by a legacy of systemic racism and police brutality against black and brown Philadelphians is immeasurable. We hope this settlement will provide some healing from the harm experienced by people in their neighborhoods in West Philadelphia and during demonstrations on I-676 in 2020.”
According to 10 Philadelphia, there were 9 fires set on May 30, and many locations were looted as a result of the so-called "peaceful protests" that took place around the city. The unrest had become so severe that then-Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf had suggested the National Guard would have to get involved if the unrest did not simmer.
Danielle Outlaw, commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, said that her department “will continue to work nonstop towards improving what we as police do to protect the First Amendment rights of protesters, keep our communities and officers safe, and to ultimately prove that we are committed to a higher standard.”
The NY Times reported that the settlement in Philadelphia was reached just weeks after New York City agreed to pay “$4 million to $6 million” to George Floyd protesters in the Bronx.
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