On Wednesday, New York City agreed to pay over $13 million to about 1,300 far-left rioters who clashed with police during the 2020 race riots.
As reported by ABC News, the settlement was filed in a Manhattan federal court and awaits final approval by a judge. If it is approved, it would become one of the largest payouts ever in a lawsuit regarding mass arrests. The lawsuit highlighted 18 different riots that took place in the summer of 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died of a fentanyl overdose while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Rioters who were present for at least one of those 18 instances claimed that they were beaten or treated unfairly by the NYPD; each of the roughly 1,300 plaintiffs will be eligible for approximately $9,950 in compensation if the settlement is approved. The agreement was reached by the city government in order to avoid going to trial.
Lawyers with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), which represents the plaintiffs, claimed with no evidence that the NYPD deprived the rioters of their First Amendment rights by engaging in a “coordinated” campaign to arrest them. The city’s attorneys insisted that the NYPD acted lawfully and were maintaining order by cracking down on riots that saw police vehicles set on fire and officers assaulted with rocks and other projectiles.
“There is no history — or present or future — of unconstitutional policing,” said Georgia Pestana, an attorney for the city. “There is no frequent deprivation of constitutional rights.”
The lawsuit targeted several former city leaders, including former Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-N.Y.), former NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, and several other leaders of the police department. Due to the settlement, none of the city leaders will be forced to admit to any wrongdoing.
The 2020 race riots, which spread throughout the country starting in late May, saw dozens of cities attacked by far-left rioters and domestic terrorist groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter. In the months-long chaos, hundreds of businesses and other buildings were burned to the ground, dozens of civilians were murdered in the streets, and over $2 billion worth of damage was caused across the country.