The city of Minneapolis reached a $600,000 settlement with 12 protesters who were injured during demonstrations after the May 2020 police killing of George Floyd, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday. The agreement, which includes numerous reforms, was accepted the same day by a federal judge, making it official after the city approved it in October, the Associated Press reports. The settlement includes an injunction that bars the city from arresting, threatening to arrest or using physical force — including chemical sprays, flash bang or concussion grenades and foam tipped bullets — against people who are engaging in lawful protests. It also limits officers’ use of chemical agents to disperse peaceful demonstrators. It requires that officers have their body cameras recording and unobstructed while at protests, according to the ACLU.
The money will be split among the plaintiffs. Floyd, a Black man, was killed on May 25, 2020, when then-Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck for 9 1/2 minutes during an arrest. Video of the restraint was recorded by a bystander and viewed around the world, prompting global protests as part of a broader reckoning over racial injustice. Two lawsuits filed in 2020 and later consolidated accused Minneapolis police of using unnecessary and excessive force against protesters. The suits alleged that police used tear gas as well as foam and rubber bullets to intimidate protesters and quash the demonstrations, and that officers often fired without warning or giving orders to leave. The plaintiffs’ injuries included bruising from less-lethal munitions, lingering respiratory issues from tear gas and psychological trauma that has chilled their desire to protest in the future.