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Minneapolis to pay $50,000 each to 12 injured by police during Black Lives Matter protests

A woman takes part in a march and vigil on the second anniversary of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in 2020 by white police officer Derek Chauvin by kneeling on his neck, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, May 25, 2022.  (Reuters photo)

The US city of Minneapolis will pay $50,000 each to 12 people injured by police during peaceful protests that erupted after a white officer killed George Floyd, according to a settlement approved n federal court. 

According to the court records,  the 46-year-old Black man was killed by pinning his neck to the ground with a knee.

Minneapolis will also implement reforms in the way police officers handle demonstrations, prohibiting them from using physical force and from deploying chemical agents against peaceful protesters, according to the settlement approved on Wednesday, Reuters reported. 

The settlement requires body cameras worn by Minneapolis police to be recorded and unobstructed when they engage with protesters.

"This agreement is a big step towards keeping peaceful protesters safe from police violence. I hope other police departments across the country see this outcome and proactively adopt these same policies and standards," Jordan Meyer, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement released by the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU helped file the class action lawsuit against the city.

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Floyd’s murder and protests

The 46-year-old African-American had bought cigarettes at a convenience store in South Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 when a shop assistant felt he had used a counterfeit $20 bill and called the police.

White police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest. Chauvin was later convicted of murder and pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Floyd kept saying he could not breathe. The video clicked by an onlooker shows him going limp and being carried away by police. He was later pronounced dead in the hospital.

The incident shocked the world, triggering widespread protests in the US. Donald Trump, who was seen complicit in the murder of his racist remarks, tried to suppress the protests.

The murder trial later became a highly-charged affair and lasted three weeks. A twelve-member jury heard from 45 witnesses and saw several hours of video footage.

The main accused was found guilty on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

But Minnesota law stipulates that he will only be given a sentence for the severest of the three because they all arise out of the same behavior.

The 12 plaintiffs suffered injuries including bruising from less-lethal munitions, lingering respiratory issues from tear gas and psychological trauma, the ACLU said.

The Minneapolis City Council approved the settlement on Oct. 20 and Mayor Jacob Frey signed it six days later, local media reported.


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