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Austin's Tab for Beanbag Injuries So Far: $13.1 Million

Since the city of Austin began in early February to settle civil suits brought by demonstrators severely injured by police during 2020 protests, the city's tab has reached $13.1 million, KUT reports. The latest settlement, for $2.95 million, goes to Brad Levi Ayala, who was 16 at the time a police officer shot him with a beanbag round. He suffered brain trauma. The officer who filed that shot, along with 18 others from Austin Police Department, has been indicted.

Earlier settlements for the use of so-called less-lethal rounds ranged from $150,000 to $8 million. Shortly after the incidents, the police department said it would no longer use the rounds to control crowds. Ayala's brother, Edwin, told city leaders his family was unsure whether he'd live after the shooting. Ayala had stopped by the protest outside APD headquarters after getting off work. He was along the side of I-35 when Officer Nicholas Gebhart, a nine-year veteran with the department, shot him. Video of the incident sparked outrage. "We thought he was going to die," Edwin told the Austin City Council in June 2020.


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