Five Occupy Wall Street protesters pepper-sprayed by an NYPD commander in a notorious incident filmed and publicized on the Internet in 2011 have settled their federal lawsuits, according to the city and plaintiffs' lawyers.
Two women, Jeanne Mansfield, a master's degree candidate from Boston, and Chelsea Elliott, a San Francisco photographer, settled for $60,000 each, said lawyer Aymen Aboushi. He said the payments were the highest of any Occupy Wall Street cases.
A third woman, Albany-area teacher's aide Kaylee Dedrick, settled for $55,000, according to her lawyer, Ron Kuby. The Associated Press reported that two others, Damien Crisp and Julie Lawler, settled for $52,500 each.
Altogether, settlements totaled $332,500 for those five and a sixth protester involved in a separate pepper spray incident, the city's law department confirmed. "Settling these cases was in the city's best interest," spokesman Nick Paolucci said.
Dep. Insp. Anthony Bologna, the officer shown in a video spraying a group of women peacefully protesting penned behind orange police netting, was suspended for 10 days and transferred to Staten Island.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. chose not to prosecute him, but Kuby said the settlements were important to deterring misconduct. "If a deputy inspector can pull that kind of stuff, what's a young cop going to think?" he said.
The first of the settlements were initially disclosed in court filings last week.