Crime Pays: NYC To Shell Out $10K to BLM Protesters Arrested by Police

Black Lives Matter leader Hawk Newsome / Getty Images
July 20, 2023

New York City has agreed to pay protesters who were arrested during the George Floyd riots in the summer of 2020, in what could be the most expensive payout ever for a lawsuit surrounding mass arrests.

City officials agreed to pay $13 million to settle a cvil rights suit on behalf of people arrested or allegedly beaten by police during protests that swept the city that summer. The suit is on behalf of around 1,300 people, who will each be eligible for $9,950 in compensation if a judge approves the settlement.

The settlement comes months after a similar one in March, where New York City officials agreed to pay $6 million to hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters, each of whom would receive more than $20,000. The lawsuit claimed 300 protesters in a June 2020 event were boxed in, pepper sprayed, and zip-tied by police.

At least 19 cities across the United States have shelled out at least $80 million to protesters who claimed harm at the hands of police during that summer. Philadelphia is paying more than $9 million to BLM protesters.

A Siena College poll this month found 41 percent of New York State residents have never felt as concerned about their safety as they do now. The vast majority, 87 percent, said crime is a very or somewhat serious problem in the city and state.
A report from March showed New York City police officers are resigning in record numbers. The NYPD at the same time lowered its fitness requirements to bring more women on the force.

Robberies, burglaries, felony assaults, and other charges jumped 22 percent in 2022 compared with 2021, according to police data. Shoplifting complaints increased by 45 percent over the same period.