NYPD officers arrest protesters for breaking the citywide 8 p.m. curfew on...

NYPD officers arrest protesters for breaking the citywide 8 p.m. curfew on June 4, 2020, in the Bronx. Credit: Getty Images / David Dee Delgado

New York City will be settling a class-action lawsuit over police conduct during a 2020 George Floyd protest in the Bronx for an estimated $6 million to $7 million, documents filed in Manhattan federal court show.

In a notice of the proposed settlement filed with the court, attorneys for the protesters and the city said the deal to settle the case came after months of negotiations following allegations that NYPD officers physically abused protesters on June 4 in the Mott Haven section of the borough. 

A group of protesters had sued the city, the NYPD and several officials including former Mayor Bill de Blasio, alleging that protesters in the Bronx locations were subjected to “kettling,” the practice of corralling them and confining their movements.

In the court filing, the city and the NYPD said they do not admit to any wrongdoing by police officers but agreed to settle the case, which will impact about 320 members of the class of protesters in the lawsuit. Under the proposed settlement, protesters will get $21,500 each, plus an additional $2,500 for those who were arrested and given desk appearance tickets.

The settlement terms were reached after they were “extensively and vigorously negotiated in good faith over several months.” The settlement still has to be approved by the court, although some payments may be made to plaintiffs in the coming months, court papers indicated. A final settlement conference is scheduled to occur at the court on October 25.

The Bronx protest came at the tail end of several days of protest in the city in aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of police. New York City demonstrations began in Manhattan around May 30 and spread to other boroughs.

The protests were largely peaceful but in some areas erupted into violence, arson and looting. Hundreds of protesters around the city were injured while the NYPD reported that nearly 100 police vehicles were damaged and hundreds of officers were hurt.

Joshua S. Moskovitz, one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs, said the agreement "recognizes" police actions were wrong.

"The police response to the peaceful Mott Haven protest was shockingly reminiscent of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965 in Selma, Alabama," he said. " We are deeply proud to represent our brave clients in their fight for justice and we hope this settlement marks an inflection point for policing in New York City."

In a statement, the NYPD said that the case involved allegations stemming from arrests made in Mott Haven on June 4, 2020, for violations of a curfew imposed by de Blasio after earlier violence in the city.

“It was a challenging moment for the department as officers who themselves were suffering under the strains of a global pandemic did their utmost to help facilitate people’s rights to peaceful expression all while addressing acts of lawlessness including wide-scale rioting, mass chaos, violence, and destruction,” the NYPD said in its statement.

The department said it had been assessing its actions and has re-envisioned its policies for handling large demonstration.

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