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Tipsheet

This Is How Much Philadelphia Is Paying BLM Protesters Claiming Injuries From Police

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The city of Philadelphia announced on Monday they reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit that was brought against them by BLM protesters who claimed "physical and emotional injuries caused by the City’s response to civil unrest and demonstrations" after the death of George Floyd in 2020.

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As part of the settlement, the city will be paying a total of $9.25 million that will be distributed among the 343 Plaintiffs. A grant will also be provided, totaling between $500,000-$600,000, to Bread & Roses Community Fund for free mental health counseling for West Philadelphia residents. Mental health counseling will be available to all residents within a radius of 52nd Street corridor in West Philadelphia, not just plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

"The pain and trauma caused by a legacy of systemic racism and police brutality against Black and Brown Philadelphians is immeasurable," said Mayor Jim Kenney (D) about the settlement. "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 in their neighborhoods in West Philadelphia and during demonstrations on I-676 in 2020. We are proud of the progress made through the Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation initiative and continue to collaborate with the Philadelphia Police Department to implement reforms and keep our communities safe."

The lawsuit was brought up against the city by demonstrators who were tear gassed and pepper-sprayed by Philadelphia police after they began to march on Interstate 676. The New York Times reported the march was peaceful, despite disrupting traffic and some in the crowd vandalizing an empty Pennsylvania state police SUV.

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"The Philadelphia Police Department is a learning organization, and we remain dedicated to moving forward in meaningful and productive ways. Along with city, state, and community stakeholders, we will continue to work non-stop towards improving what we as police do to protect the first amendment rights of protestors, keep our communities and officers safe, and to ultimately prove that we are committed to a higher standard," said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

"Instead of protecting us, the Philadelphia Police Department waged war in our streets,” one plaintiff, Amelia Carter, said. "There should be no place for the militarization of a police department that is supposed to serve us."

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