Columbus, Ohio Agrees to Pay $5.75 Million to People Injured in 2020 Protests
The decision came on Thursday, nearly a year and a half after the suit was filed as “some plaintiffs were significantly injured” in the protests.
Image via Getty/Matthew Hatcher
A lawsuit filed against the city of Columbus, Ohio for excessive police force in the summer of 2020 has settled with those injured for $5.75 million, ABC News reports.
The decision came on Thursday, nearly a year and a half after the suit was filed in July of 2020 when “some plaintiffs were significantly injured” in the protests, according to city attorney Zach Klein.
Protests included, but were not limited to the marches over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
“Therefore, it’s incumbent upon the City to accept responsibility and pay restitution,” Klein said in a statement. “Many Columbus Division of Police officers did perform their jobs professionally during that time, but this litigation highlighted serious issues that must be addressed.”
The settlement also saw Columbus agree to a permanent injunction for non-lethal force for people who are protesting peacefully and not harming others or destroying property. This already saw a preliminary injunction this year, so the new agreement prevents that force from making any legal return, with tear gas, pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets, wooden pellets, batons and other weaponry no longer allowed. The Columbus City Council must approve the settlement.
“While this has certainly been a difficult and painful moment for our community, it has yielded important, and in some instances long overdue, reforms to policing practices, policies, and oversight,” Klein said.
Columbus department of public safety director Robert Clark said that the department has “implemented significant changes in protest response and training since last year’s protests,” and that before people can heal, there must be accountability.