Baton Rouge Protesters Will Be Awarded Up To $1,000 In Class-Action Settlement
Protesters claimed police violated their civil rights and used excessive force while arresting them.
Nearly a year after protesters in Baton Rouge were arrested during marches for 37-year-old resident Alton Sterling – who was killed by police while selling CDs outside of a store – a federal judge approved a class-action settlement Friday, Oct. 27 that awards up to $1,000 to dozens.
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One of the most high-profile activists to be involved with the settlement was DeRay Mckesson who was arrested along with 69 others. Besides cash payments, the victims will have their records expunged free of charge, the Associated Press reports.
U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles gave the final approval regarding the settlement after a hearing with McKesson and other plaintiffs. The 69 plaintiffs will ultimately be rewarded amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000 out of the total value of the settlement estimated at $136,000.“It obviously is a matter that touches on a lot of sensitive issues and had the potential for being very contentious and destructive,” deGravelles said.
Kira Marrero, a 24-year-old plaintiff from New Orleans, was arrested while protesting the police-involved shooting of Sterling.
“I’m definitely glad that we’re getting some justice, though at the same time it’s a really painful memory to dig up,” she said. “I’m still pretty heartbroken, I guess, by everything that happened. I think everyone who knew me trusted that I wasn’t out there breaking the law and that clearly something was wrong.”
While this is a step in the right direction, the deal only settles one of many outstanding lawsuits against Louisiana law enforcement agencies.