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NYPD Will Halt 'Kettling' Protesters In Settlement OK'd By Judge

The New York Police Department's settlement overhauling its response to protests and ending end its crowd control tactic of "kettling" protesters won approval from a New York federal judge Wednesday, dismissing objections brought by the city's largest police union to torpedo the record award reached last year, Courthouse News reports. Eleven months after Senior U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon signed off on New York City’s highest per-person settlement in class action brought by hundreds of protesters who say the police brutalized them during a 2020 demonstration over the murder of George Floyd, the judge cleared the settlement after denying the Police Benevolent Association’s motion to reject the settlement. "Under well-developed precedent, it is clear that the PBA will not suffer 'legal prejudice' if the court dismisses the claims for injunctive relief pursuant to the terms of the settlement or dismissal,” the judge wrote. “Every party to the lawsuit, including the PBA, had an opportunity to review the proposed settlement at every stage and to participate, to the extent it wished to do so, in the mediation. There is not a whiff of collusion or anything improper in the settlement's devising,”

The ruling was praised by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Aid Society. “We’re gratified that the court saw the PBA’s opposition for what it was a baseless hail Mary that would perpetuate the abuses we saw in 2020,” New York Civil Liberties Union deputy legal director Molly Biklen and The Legal Aid Society attorney Jennvine Wong wrote. “Now, in partnership with the attorney general and our plaintiffs, we can realize the promise of this settlement, which will overhaul the way the NYPD polices protest — an agreement approved by the city, lauded by Mayor Adams and supported by both the Sergeants Benevolent Association and the Detectives’ Endowment Association.” Under the terms of the settlement, NYPD agreed to end its use of kettling to surround, trap and eventually arrest protesters without first providing a warning or opportunity for them to leave the area.


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