Officials representing the city of Columbus on Thursday announced a settlement with individuals who were injured during the 2020 riots after police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd.
If approved by the city council, Columbus will dish out $5.75 million to settle a lawsuit with 32 plaintiffs filed in federal court earlier this year.
According to a press release from Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, multiple, different injuries were reported, including three individuals who claimed to have suffered broken bones.
“During the protests in Columbus, some plaintiffs were significantly injured. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon the City to accept responsibility and pay restitution. Many Columbus Division of Police officers did perform their jobs professionally during that time, but this litigation highlighted serious issues that must be addressed,” said Klein. “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. This settlement is a good step forward for both the Division of Police and for the entire community because it sets defined parameters and clear expectations for all when exercising and protecting First Amendment rights in Columbus.”
In addition to financial compensation, the city’s police force will be prohibited from using tear gas, pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets, and similar measures.
Officers will also not be allowed to use force that inflicts pain to punish or deter nonviolent protestors.
“We have implemented significant changes in protest response and training since last year’s protests. We recognize what a painful chapter this has been for everyone involved, including the women and men of the Columbus Division of Police and the community we serve,” added Columbus Department of Public Safety Director Robert Clark
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