On Monday, the city of Philadelphia agreed to pay $9.25 million to over 200 rioters who claimed to have been injured by police during the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020.
As reported by Fox News, the settlement was announced by the law firm Mincey Fitzpatrick Ross, LLC, which represented the 237 activists who participated in the riots between May 31st and June 1st, 2020, following the fentanyl overdose death of George Floyd.
In addition to the financial compensation, the city has also agreed to stop participating in a federal program that provides the police department with extra military equipment. The city will also pay about $500,000 for counseling services for residents of the 52nd Street corridor, located in West Philadelphia, where most of the violence occurred.
The rioters complained about superficial injuries sustained during their clash with police, including “scars” from rubber bullets and “nerve damage” from being restrained with zip ties, as well as exposure to tear gas as police attempted to disperse the violent gatherings.
Mayor Jim Kenney (D-Penn.) issued a statement denouncing the alleged “pain and trauma” that the rioters experienced, and claiming that the racism allegedly caused by the police is “immeasurable.”
“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,” Kenney added.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also issued a statement declaring that the department would change its approach to rioters in the future.
“Along with city, state and community stakeholders, we will continue to work non-stop 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,” Outlaw said.
The Philadelphia Police Department is one of several major cities’ police departments that has been forced to settle with rioters after the series of destructive rioters in the summer of 2020, which burned down many cities, thousands of businesses, injured hundreds, and led to the deaths of over 20 Americans, as well as over $2 billion in damages nationwide. The New York Police Department recently agreed to a $7 million settlement with roughly 300 rioters over the use of a police tactic known as “kettling” in order to control the violence.