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ACLU-MN announces $600K settlement with Mpls. for 12 protesters injured during George Floyd protests

Minneapolis reaches $600K settlement for protesters hurt during George Floyd protests
Minneapolis reaches $600K settlement for protesters hurt during George Floyd protests 00:38

MINNEAPOLIS -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota announced Wednesday a settlement with the city of Minneapolis for police mistreatment of protesters during the protests following George Floyd's murder.

According to ACLU-MN, the class action lawsuit was settled for a $600,000 payment and "numerous reforms." The lawsuit was filed in 2020 on behalf of 12 protesters who were injured.

"People who are demonstrating peacefully should never be met with police violence as they were in Minneapolis during protests over MPD's murder of George Floyd," said ACLU-MN Legal Director Teresa Nelson. "Tear gas, foam bullets and pepper spray became weapons for intimidating and hurting protesters, making it dangerous for people to exercise their First Amendment rights. We hope this settlement sends a message to law enforcement across Minnesota that this violation of our constitutional rights will not be tolerated."

RELATED: ACLU Lawsuit Alleges Law Enforcement Used Excessive Force During George Floyd Protests

The ACLU says the protesters suffered injuries that include bruising from less-lethal munitions, lingering respiratory issues due to tear gas and psychological trauma "that has chilled their desire to protest in the future."

Protests, Unrest, And Riots In Minneapolis
Police pull a man from the crowd after pepper spraying him. He was arrested for refusing to back away from officers downtown Minneapolis, US on August 26, 2020. Residents protested in downtown Minneapolis on August 26 after inaccurate reports circulated of a man being shot by police. After a tense stand-off between officers and protesters, multiple stores were looted. Dozens of people were arrested, a curfew was imposed shortly after 10 P.M., and Governor Walz declared a state of emergency, calling in support form the National Guard. Getty Images

The payment will be split among the plaintiffs.

"The agreement prohibits the city from arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force including but not limited to chemical agents, flash bang/concussion grenades, and foam-tipped bullets against people engaging in lawful protests, assemblies, or demonstrations. The injunction also limits the use of chemical agents by police to disperse peaceful protests and requires that officers deployed to protests have their body-worn cameras recording and unobstructed," the ACLU said on the reforms.

Video of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes sparked protests and calls for justice around the world. Chauvin was convicted in April 2021 on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 22 and half years in prison.

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