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Legal Aid, NYCLU Secure $512K Settlement In Case Against NYPD

Clients brutalized by the NYPD during the 2020 demonstrations will receive a monetary settlement.

The Legal Aid Society and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) announced a $512,000 settlement against the City and New York City Police Department (NYPD) officials, as well as several individual officers, for their roles in the indiscriminate brutalizing of peaceful protesters during the social justice demonstrations following the police killing of George Floyd. 

“While this settlement will never completely right what our clients suffered at the hands of the NYPD during the summer of 2020, we hope that it provides some much needed closure, allowing them to move on with their lives,” said Jennvine Wong, supervising attorney with the Cop Accountability Project at The Legal Aid Society. “Until the NYPD meaningfully addresses their culture of impunity, these settlements will continue to balloon, with taxpayers footing the costs.”

In September 2023, New York Attorney General Letitia James (OAG), the Legal Aid Society (LAS), and the NYCLU announced a landmark agreement with the NYPD to protect New Yorkers’ right to protest. This agreement resolved lawsuits for injunctive relief filed by Attorney General James, LAS, NYCLU, and other private lawsuits over NYPD’s wrongful arrests and excessive use of force against protesters during the summer of 2020. As a result of the agreement, the NYPD will be required to change how it deploys officers to public demonstrations and fully document those deployments.

An oversight committee comprised of OAG, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), New York City Office of Corporation Counsel, the new First Amendment Activity (FAA) Senior Executive, and two representatives from LAS, NYCLU and the private cases will oversee and monitor NYPD’s implementation and compliance with the new reforms over a multi-year period.

“There is no way to put a price on the trauma that the NYPD caused through their reckless and unconstitutional treatment of protesters during the summer of 2020,” said Molly Biklen, Associate Legal Director at the New York Civil Liberties Union. “While today’s settlement provides some repair to our clients, our work to ensure our settlement’s policy reforms take hold continues. We won’t stop fighting until the NYPD fully adopts these new and urgently needed practices.”