Cleveland to pay $540,000 to 12 arrested in racial protests

CLEVELAND (AP) — Twelve people arrested while peacefully protesting in downtown Cleveland in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd will receive a $540,000 settlement from the city, according to an attorney for the protesters.

Some of the 12 also received minor injuries including being hit with pepper spray during the May 30, 2020, protests organized after Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.

The 12 will split the money evenly, and the city has agreed to remove the charges from the protesters’ records, civil rights attorney Sarah Gelsomino, who filed lawsuits against the city along with law partner Terry Gilbert, said Friday.

Cleveland has consistently shown a disregard for First Amendment expression despite training and policies meant to educate officers about such expression, Gelsomino said.

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.

A message was left Friday with the Cleveland mayor’s office seeking comment.

In December, Columbus agreed to pay $5.75 million to 32 people injured during similar racial injustice protests.

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