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A federal judge has approved a settlement between the City of Minneapolis and 12 protesters who were injured by police during peaceful demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd.

According to the agreement, the 12 individuals will split $600,000 paid by the city, which in addition will also have to implement reforms to its policing model.

The injuries suffered by the protesters included bruising from rubber bullets, lingering respiratory problems from tear gas, and psychological trauma that may prevent them from exercising their First Amendment right in the future, the agreement says. 

The reforms to be implemented include:

  • The City of Minneapolis is prohibited from arresting, threatening to arrest, or use physical force including but not limited to chemical agents, flash bang/concussion grenades, and foam-tipped bullets against people engaging in lawful protests, assemblies, or demonstrations.
  • The use of chemical agents by police to disperse peaceful protests will be limited.
  • Officers who are present at protests are required to have their body-worn cameras recording and unobstructed.

The agreement also resolves previous lawsuits against the city, ex-police chief Medaria Arradondo and other officers. 

The 12 plaintiffs in the case were protesting on the Interstate 35W bridge when a man driving a tanker truck barreled towards the crowd, forcing people to "run for cover." Noting that, police were accused of focusing solely on the driver's condition and not checking for any injuries amongst the protesters. 

Law enforcement is also seen on video "spraying tear gas and pepper spray indiscriminately out of their squad car windows while driving through peaceful protests," according to the lawsuit.

The city has approved more than $6 million in settlements to protesters and journalists injured in the unrest of 2020 and 2021. That doesn't include the $27 million settlement for the family of Floyd.

“We are grateful for the outstanding work of our legal team in achieving this important and unprecedented outcome,” said Minneapolis civil rights activist Nekima Levy Armstrong.

"As plaintiffs in this case, our primary focus was on holding the city accountable for the abuse and mistreatment of peaceful protesters by MPD. It’s our hope that the injunction will result in greater protection for protesters and fewer incidents of harm and bodily injury.”

The City of Minneapolis provided the following statement to Bring Me The News:

"The City Council approved a $600,000 settlement on Oct. 20, and Mayor Frey signed the Council action Oct. 26. The City Attorney's Office executed and filed documents necessary to effectuate the settlement, and an order reflecting portions of that settlement were made public today."

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