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Cleveland To Pay $540K To 12 People Arrested During George Floyd Protests

Attorneys for those arrested say they will split the money equally and the city has agreed to remove the charges from their records.
Cleveland To Pay $540K To 12 People Arrested During George Floyd Protests
Stephen Maturen/Stringer

Attorneys for twelve people arrested after protesting in downtown Cleveland following the murder of George Floyd in 2020 will receive a $540,000 settlement from the city, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, some of the 12 suffered minor injuries, including being hit with pepper spray during protests on May 30, 2020, which were organized after Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in April 2021 of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death after pressing his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes. He was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison.

Civil rights attorney Sarah Gelsomino, who filed lawsuits against the city of Cleveland with her partner Terry Gilbert, said that those arrested had protested peacefully and caused no destruction or violence, but still ended up in jail. They will split the money equally, and the city has agreed to remove the charges from the records of the protestors.

Gelsomino said the city of Cleveland has consistently ignored First Amendment expression despite training and policies intended to educate officers.

Police “were unprepared, they were untrained, they were unsupervised, and they didn’t like the message on May 30, and they acted out,” she said.

Gilbert told Cleveland.com that as a part of the settlement, in addition to assisting those charged expunge their criminal records, the city will also provide more training to officers to handle crowd control at future events.

A similar racial injustice protest in Columbus resulted in 32 people receiving $5.75 million in settlements.