Baltimore police settle over protest arrests, adopt reforms

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police have settled with activists who sued over their arrest during a 2016 arts festival.

The lawsuit asserted Baltimore Bloc activists were improperly targeted and subjected to inhumane treatment during the AFROMATION protest against police brutality at Artscape. Roughly 55 adults and 10 teens were arrested after some activists blocked a highway.

With input from the team monitoring police’s federal consent decree, the city and plaintiffs drafted a new protest policy that prevents police from arresting people who were just part of a demonstrating group. Officers also can’t surround or prevent protesters from leaving without first giving dispersal opportunities.

News outlets report a judge formally approved the settlement with nine protesters Wednesday. Each plaintiff will receive $17,000.

The city doesn’t admit to wrongdoing in the settlement.

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