Seattle Black Lives Matter Protesters Who Set Fire to Police Cars To Receive $10 Million Settlement From City

‘This decision was the best financial decision for the City considering risk, cost, and insurance,’ city attorney AnnDavison says.

David Ryder/Getty Images
Demonstrators use shields while blocking an intersection near the Seattle Police East Precinct during protests at Seattle on July 26, 2020. David Ryder/Getty Images

The city of Seattle is settling with a group of more than 50 protesters who participated in civil rights marches after the murder of George Flyod to the tune of $10 million. The protesters alleged that police used excessive force to tamp down protests that saw police cars set alight and an attempt to burn down a police station.

“This decision was the best financial decision for the City considering risk, cost, and insurance,” city attorney Ann Davison. “The case has been a significant drain on the time and resources of the City and would have continued to be so through an estimated three-month trial that was scheduled to begin in May.” 

The city admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement and Ms. Davison said that the settlement “resolves the majority of the remaining claims arising out of the 2020 demonstration period and is a big step toward allowing the City to focus on the important work of today.”

An attorney for the protesters who brought the case, Karen Koehler, said that “Historians should review what we collected and write the true story of the shameful behavior of our City against the Peaceful Protesters.”

Following the murder of Floyd in Minneapolis, protests erupted across the country. In Seattle, police abandoned their East Precinct building in Seattle and protestors established the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” in a six block zone of the city.

Police responded with force to the protests, using flash-bang grenades, foam-tipped projectiles, and so-called “blast balls,” a rubber coated grenade that emits pepper gas designed for anti-riot applications. Police later were ordered by a federal judge to stop using the chemical anti-riot grenades and other weapons against protesters.

One of the plaintiffs in the case was struck by one of the “blast balls,” which sent her into cardiac arrest when the device exploded on her chest. Other cities have settled similar cases, such as New York City, which last year settled a case with protesters for $7 million.

The New York Sun

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