Philadelphia Agrees To Pay $9 Million to BLM Protesters for 'Pain and Trauma'

Civil unrest in May and June 2020 cost city $21 million

Protesters in Philadelphia in June 2020 / Getty Images
March 21, 2023

Philadelphia on Monday agreed to pay more than $9 million to protesters who attended Black Lives Matter rallies in 2020, just as the city suffers from record homicides and a shortage of police officers.

As part of a legal settlement, the city will pay more than 200 protesters a total of $9.25 million for injuries allegedly caused by police responding to BLM protests in May and June 2020. The lawsuits claimed that police inflicted mental trauma, as well as physical injuries, on protesters. Democratic mayor Jim Kenney said police violence and racism caused black residents "immeasurable" amounts of "pain and trauma," according to Fox News.

"While this is just one step in the direction toward reconciliation, we hope this settlement will provide some healing from the harm experienced by people," Kenney said.

The protests cost the city $21 million, according to Security Management.

The massive payout comes as the city continues to suffer from record crime and police shortages.

Philadelphia last year saw 516 homicides, down just 8 percent from the record-setting 562 homicides in 2021. Robbery with a gun was up more than 20 percent in 2022 from the year prior, and auto theft was up nearly 37 percent.

The city is more than 1,000 police officers short of where it needs to be, according to Philadelphia police union leader John McNesby.

Crime is such a problem under District Attorney Larry Krasner (D.), whose campaign was funded by left-wing megadonor George Soros, that even Democratic mayoral candidates say they want to "circumvent" Krasner on addressing crime and releasing violent criminals. Philadelphia voters rank crime as the top issue for the city's next mayor.

"We need to bring back the certainty of punishment in the city of Philadelphia," Democratic candidate Derek Green said.

Other Democrat-run cities are also making payouts to BLM protesters. New York City this month agreed to shell out between $4 and $6 million for damages related to pepper-spraying and zip-tying.