The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) Wednesday reached a settlement with the city of Minneapolis over police mistreatment of civilians during 2020 protests spurred by the murder of George Floyd. The settlement includes a $600,000 payment, $50,000 to each injured protester, and numerous reforms.
The 12 plaintiffs suffered injuries including bruising from less-lethal munitions, lingering respiratory issues from tear gas and psychological trauma. ACLU-MN Legal Director Teresa Nelson emphasised that, “People who are demonstrating peacefully should never be met with police violence as they were in Minneapolis during protests over MPD’s murder of George Floyd.”
As part of the settlement, approved in federal court, Minneapolis will also reform how police handle demonstrations. Body cameras worn by Minneapolis police must be recording and unobstructed when officers engage with protesters, and the city may not arrest, threaten to arrest or use physical force like chemical agents, flash-bang grenades and foam-tipped bullets against people engaging in lawful demonstrations.
Demonstrations spread across the US after a video emerged showing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest over a counterfeit $20 bill on May 25, 2020. Chauvin was later convicted of murder and pleaded guilty to federal charges.