Cities across the U.S. have agreed to pay more than $80 million in damages to people injured by police at anti-racism protests in 2020. That amount could rise as more lawsuits remain unresolved.
Police murder George Floyd On May 25, 2020, it sparked the largest protests in the United States since the civil rights era. More than 26 million people protested against racism and police violence at the time, writes the Guardian.
Three years later, at least 19 cities across the country will pay more than $80 million to protesters who suffered various injuries as a result of police actions, including tear gas and gunfire. As a result, they filed civil lawsuits.
Thousands of people were traumatized, some were permanently injured, including journalists. One of these is Linda Tiradowho was reporting from the protests in Minneapolis when she was shot by police, leaving her partially blind.
Anthony Evans was shot in the jaw by police in Austin, even though there were protests, he said “quite calm”.
Southern California lawyer Carol Sobel she said that several procedures are still ongoing, and in the end the amount of compensation should be even higher.
Among the cities that have agreed to pay compensation so far are New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Portland and others.
In these cities, heavily militarized police responded to protests against police violence with violence. It is not clear how many people were injured in total during these protests.
New York and its police will pay more than six million dollars to 320 protesters, and the authorities will pay 9.25 million to people injured in Philadelphia. In La Mesa, California, a woman will receive $10 million for being shot in the head by a police officer. The condition for these payments is that the cities and local police admit no wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, many victims face permanent injuries, and such compensation represents only limited compensation. The agreed amounts will often not be sufficient to cover medical expenses or therapy and other forms of assistance.
Justin Hansford, a professor at Howard University School of Law, said such damages are not enough to curb excessive use of force because police are not directly financially penalized. Also, as a rule, individual police officers are not the targets of criminal prosecutions.