As swaths of horrified Americans watched their fellow citizens loot, burn and raze businesses following the death of George Floyd in 2020, many were likely wondering what justice — if any — would eventually be meted out.
The “justice” that New York City ultimately decided on probably isn’t what most people were expecting.
The Associated Press is reporting that New York City has agreed to pay over $13 million to approximately 1,300 people to settle a civil rights lawsuit.
The civil right being violated? According to the New York Post, it’s “for fighting police.”
Much of that aforementioned frustration appeared to be captured in that Post article from the outlet’s Editorial Board, titled “Indicting a cop and paying BLM protesters $13M proves it: NYC has its priorities upside down,” which blasted the settlement decision as “just the latest turn in a series of madcap moves where officials rush to defend — and even reward — law- breakers.”
The AP, not brimming with quite the same anger as the Post’s editorial board, noted that the settlement still needs approval from a judge, so nothing is finalized yet.
If approved, however, the settlement “would be among the most expensive payouts ever awarded in a lawsuit” that pertains to “mass arrests.”
The lawsuit itself was focused on the protests that occurred in New York following the highly polarizing and publicized death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.
Floyd was killed after being arrested in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin, the officer who put his knee on Floyd’s neck during the fatal altercation was ultimately found guilty of murder for his role in Floyd’s death.
Once the anger over Floyd’s death metastasized into riotous rage, New York City was not immune. The lawsuit in question sought to focus on “just” 18 of the numerous riots that ravaged the city.
The AP, citing legal representation for the plaintiffs, noted that the “people arrested or subjected to force by NYPD at those  events will each be eligible for $9,950 in compensation.”
To the chagrin of New York taxpayers, this is hardly the first hefty settlement to emerge from the George Floyd protests.
In March, yet another settlement was made under similar legal circumstances, with costs totaling over $10 million in that case.
That settlement focused on one particular riot New York’s Mott Haven neighborhood in the Bronx.
These hefty settlements don’t appear to be in short supply. The AP noted that “many other cities across the U.S. are negotiating their own settlements with protesters.”
Legal representatives for plaintiffs have argued that their clients’ First Amendment rights were violated through police brutality and unlawful detainment.
Not every arrested protester will qualify for the latest round of New York settlement money, but it appears a vast majority of them will receive some form of compensation.
New York City will pay another $13 million to more than 1,000 protestors arrested during riots the week following George Floyd's death. Each eligible "protestor" will receive $10,000 for their part in sparking civil unrest, mass vandalism, and assaults against police officers for…
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) July 20, 2023