Baton Rouge, La., Settles Lawsuit With BLM Protesters for $100,000

The settlement will go toward bail and legal-fee reimbursement for 92 plaintiffs.

Baton Rouge, La., police rush a crowd of protesters and start making arrests July 9, 2016. Protests were a result of the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling outside a convenience store July 5, 2016.
Baton Rouge, La., police rush a crowd of protesters and start making arrests July 9, 2016. Protests were a result of the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling outside a convenience store July 5, 2016. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Black Lives Matter protesters who were arrested in July while demonstrating after the shooting death of Alton Sterling will receive a monetary settlement from the city of Baton Rouge, La.

As part of the settlement the Baton Rouge Metro Council approved on Tuesday, four agencies will pay activist DeRay Mckesson and his fellow plaintiffs $100,000. The city government, the district attorney’s office, Louisiana State Police and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office will each pay no more than $25,000 under the settlement agreement, The Advocate reports.

Parish Attorney Lea Anne Batson told The Advocate that the city will pay $230 to each of the 92 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and the remainder of the money under the $25,000 cap will go toward bonding fees, attorney’s fees and other costs.

Although East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said that his office would not prosecute the protesters, Mckesson and the other activists were required to post bond and pay administrative fees and court costs in order to be released. Additionally, in order to have the arrests expunged, they would have been required to pay more money.

The lawsuit alleges that militarized police were aggressive in their response to protesters and used “unconstitutional tactics” to infringe upon the protesters’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly.

Metro Councilman John Delgado, one of two people on the 12-member body to vote against the settlement, expressed his displeasure with it.

“To me, this encourages that type of behavior to happen in the future,” Delgado said. “I have no interest in paying $100,000 in taxpayer dollars to people who are coming into our city to protest.”

Batson told The Advocate that the price is much smaller than what the city would be paying if just one of the 92 plaintiffs could prove that he or she was wrongfully arrested.

The July 2016 protests stemmed from cellphone video showing a Baton Rouge police officer shooting and killing Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in North Baton Rouge, La. Batson told The Advocate that less than 10 percent of the protesters in the class-action lawsuit were from out of town.

Mckesson confirmed the settlement via his verified Twitter account Wednesday:

Read more at The Advocate.

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