NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City has agreed to pay a total of $332,500 to six Occupy Wall Street protesters who said police unjustly blasted them with pepper spray. The episode helped propel the movement into the spotlight.
Lawyers for both sides said Monday the settlements range from $52,500 to $60,000 per person. They were reached in recent weeks.
The Law Department said settling the cases were in the city’s best interest. The protesters’ lawyers said the suits held police accountable for their actions.
The cases stemmed from a march near Union Square in Occupy’s early days in September 2011.
Online video showed police Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna pepper-spraying protesters corralled behind orange netting. The images helped galvanize Occupy.
GRAPHIC CONTENT – Watch the video below:
“When you have neutral video that’s exposing an unconstitutional practice, I think it really goes a long way in getting people’s attention, including getting the city’s attention and making them come to the table to discontinue this sort of practice,” attorney Aymen Aboushi told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. Aboushi represents two of the six protesters — Chelsea Elliot and Jeanne Mansfield — who were in the area of Union Square and University Place.
Bologna was found to have violated NYPD guidelines. He was docked 10 vacation days.
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