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Philly to pay $9.25 million to George Floyd demonstrators who claim cops used 'excessive, militaristic' force amid 2020 'racial justice protests'
George Floyd demonstrators on Interstate 676, Philadelphia, run from tear gas, June 1, 2020. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Philly to pay $9.25 million to George Floyd demonstrators who claim cops used 'excessive, militaristic' force amid 2020 'racial justice protests'

The city of Philadelphia will pay $9.25 million to George Floyd demonstrators who claimed in a class-action lawsuit that police used "excessive, militaristic" force amid 2020 "racial justice protests," PhillyVoice reported.

What are the details?

The outlet said nearly 350 people in the suit alleged they suffered physical and mental harm at the hands of police who used tear gas at protests in West Philadelphia and on Interstate 676 on May 31 and June 1. City officials announced the settlement Monday, the outlet added.

In addition, authorities used armored vehicles along the 52nd Street business corridor in West Philadelphia and fired rubber bullets at some protesters, the outlet said.

According to PhillyVoice, Rachel Kleinman of the Legal Defense Fund — which represented the plaintiffs — said that “in the midst of historic racial justice protests calling out the systemic injustices and anti-Black racism perpetuated by law enforcement, the Philadelphia Police Department did not simply harm and terrorize individual people exercising their right to protest. It inflicted wanton violence and devastated a predominately Black community."

Center City Philadelphia Block Destroyed, Burning After Violent Protest | NBC10 Philadelphiayoutu.be

Also as part of the settlement, Philadelphia will pull out of a federal program that arms state and local law enforcement with military weapons and equipment and provide a $500,000 grant for free mental health counseling for West Philadelphia residents, the outlet said.

Widespread Looting in Center City Philadelphia After Floyd Protests Turn Violent | NBC10youtu.be

Far-left Philly Mayor Jim Kenney seemed pleased with the settlement.

“The pain and trauma caused by a legacy of systemic racism and police brutality against Black and Brown Philadelphians is immeasurable," he said Monday, according to PhillyVoice. "While this is just one step in the direction toward reconciliation, 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."

More from the outlet:

In Philadelphia, protests that began peacefully on May 30 descended into chaos as rioters torched police vehicles at City Hall and looted surrounding businesses. The activity spread from Center City to other neighborhoods and commercial districts in the ensuing days and nights, creating a volatile mix of legitimate dissent and criminal activity.

Police met protesters and marchers in West Philadelphia, on Interstate 676 and on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, in several instances, with munitions such as tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and batons. Hundreds of protesters were arrested in the span of several days in late May and early June.

The highly publicized June 1 protest on I-676, during which police fired tear gas into the crowd of demonstrators on the highway, led to an apology from Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw over the department's "unjustifiable" use of force, as well as a moratorium on tear gas use by officers. Protesters were seen on video scrambling up a highway embankment to escape plumes of tear gas that afternoon.

One SWAT officer was fired and later charged after video showed him pulling down the masks of kneeling protesters to pepper spray them directly in the face on the highway. Those charges were later dropped, but then reinstated by a municipal court judge.

Violent Protests, Looting Rock Philadelphia For Second Consecutive Dayyoutu.be

“Instead of protecting us, the Philadelphia Police Department waged war in our streets, tear gassed us, and shot us with rubber bullets," said Amelia Carter, a plaintiff in the case, according to PhillyVoice. "By blanketing a community with tear gas, they haphazardly attacked law-abiding citizens in their homes and on their sidewalks. There should be no place for the militarization of a police department that is supposed to serve us."

Philadelphia reaches settlement with protesters tear-gassed during 2020 unrestyoutu.be

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →