CV NEWS FEED // The New York Police Department (NYPD) agreed to a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) over the department’s “violent response” to riots during the summer of 2020.
The Daily Wire reported Tuesday that the ALCU sued local authorities over their response to the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020:
The ACLU’s New York chapter, the Legal Aid Society, and the state Attorney General Letitia James announced the “landmark agreement” with the New York City Police Department after they sued Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, Chief of Department Terence Monahan, the City of New York, and several individual police officers for their roles in the protests over three years ago.
“NYPD authorities must create a new oversight review committee estimated to cost city taxpayers upward of $1.45 million,” The Daily Wire added.
Molly Biklen, the Deputy Legal Director of the ALCU of New York, hailed the agreement as a “landmark settlement.” She claimed that it “holds the NYPD, the nation’s largest and most influential police force, to its oath to protect New Yorkers’ right to protest.”
“The NYPD’s violent response to protestors during the 2020 demonstrations for Black lives made clear to the world what too many New Yorkers already knew, that the NYPD is unable or unwilling to police itself,” she said Tuesday. “Today’s settlement ensures the NYPD can no longer indiscriminately deploy the notorious Strategic Response Group to protest and no longer escalate force on a whim.”
Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James struck a similar tone in her response.
“The right to peacefully assemble and protest is sacrosanct and foundational to our democracy,” she said. “Too often peaceful protesters have been met with force that has harmed innocent New Yorkers simply trying to exercise their rights.”
On the same day, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban announced that his department “has re-envisioned its policies for policing protests to deal with” what he described as “unique scenarios,” such as the unrest following the death of George Floyd in mid-2020.
Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who appointed Caban, also praised the settlement. “I’ve spent my entire career fighting for police reform and accountability,” said the mayor. Adams served as an NYPD officer for over two decades.
“This agreement is another step in making the reforms necessary to move our city forward,” Adams said. “The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of American freedom, and this agreement sets new protocols and policies in place for the NYPD during spontaneous protests.”
The head of the NYPD’s primary union, however, decried the decision. The settlement raises “serious concerns about its impact on the safety of police officers and all New Yorkers in future situations involving coordinated violent actions,” said Patrick Hendry, the president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA):
Nearly 400 NYPD members were injured during the summer 2020 protests, but there has been zero accountability for the agitators who used the protests as cover to assault police officers. This settlement does not change that. If anything, it may serve to encourage future violence.
Again, from The Daily Wire:
In the weeks after George Floyd’s death in May 2020, New York City descended into complete chaos after Black Lives Matter protesters and rioters flooded the streets, looted and vandalized private property and businesses across the city. In response, NYPD officers allegedly pepper sprayed and struck demonstrators with batons while others ran into pedestrians with bicycles and trapped protestors in closed spaces.
The agreement between the NYPD and the ALCU is not the first legal settlement in New York City as a result of police actions during the range of demonstrations in the summer of 2020.
In July, CatholicVote reported that “following a class-action lawsuit, New York City will pay a combined $13.7 million to people who protested the 2020 death of George Floyd.”
“The city decided to settle in order to avoid a trial. The plaintiffs claimed that New York Police infringed upon their rights,” the report continued. “Per the terms of the settlement, at least a thousand people are set to each receive up to just shy of ten thousand dollars in ‘compensation’ from the city.”
Again, from CatholicVote’s previous reporting:
Nearly 10,000 people were arrested in the series of protests and riots that occurred in the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. The nationwide demonstrations caused almost two billion dollars in property damage. Rioters destroyed many black-owned businesses. After two weeks of protests, 19 people had been killed.
The civil unrest was largely promoted by Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (colloquially known as Black Lives Matter or BLM), a far-left group that was later exposed and discredited for misappropriating funds.
Read more on recent legal developments relating to protests and riots in Summer 2020:
Denver Becomes Latest City to Award Millions to George Floyd Protesters
NYC to Pay Nearly $14 Million to George Floyd Protesters for Mass-Arrests