THE THIN BLUE LINE
New York City has agreed to pay $21,500 to each of hundreds of demonstrators who were penned in by the police in the Bronx during racial justice protests in 2020, then charged at or beaten with batons, according to a legal settlement.
The case concerned roughly 300 people who were arrested on June 4, 2020, in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx during protests against the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers the week before. His death set off protests across the country, including in New York, where thousands of people demonstrated in May and June.
On June 4, the police boxed in hundreds of protesters who had peacefully gathered on 136th Street and then prevented them from leaving, a practice known as “kettling,” according to the lawsuit. They were restrained with tight plastic handcuffs also known as zip ties by officers who were not masked as the pandemic raged. Officers wielding batons swung at protesters and hit them with pepper spray, according to the lawsuit.
Joshua Moskovitz, an attorney representing the demonstrators, told NBC News the settlement “reflects an acknowledgment by the city that the NYPD’s actions in Mott Haven on June 4 were tragically wrong.”
“We are really pleased with the settlement,” Ali Frick, another attorney for the protesters, told ABC News. “This was essentially a premeditated show of force against people who were demonstrating against police violence.”