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Oakland pays out $1.5 million to settle lawsuit over police misconduct at George Floyd protests

Peg Hunter
Following days of protest over the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a large crowd blocks the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, challenging the Alameda County Sheriff's Department's 8 pm curfew order.

Oakland’s City Council has approved a $1.5 million settlement for 25 plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit last year alleging significant police violence at protests over the murder of George Floyd.

The Anti Police-Terror Project, Community Ready Corps, and 27 individuals filed a lawsuit against the city, its former interim police chief, and three police officers. They claimed the city and police violated their free speech rights, used excessive force – including widespread employment of “impact munitions” – and falsely arrested them during protests from May 29th to June 1st, 2020.

Thousands demonstrated in downtown Oakland to protest the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A couple of weeks later – following widespread criticism about the Oakland Police Department’s handling – a federal judge issued a temporary order limiting the department’s use of tear gas and nonlethal munitions.

Last year, Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong stated his officers violated the department's use-of-force policy 35 times during the protests. Their punishment included suspensions and written reprimands.

Raphael Cohen was part of KALW's Summer Journalism Training Program in 2022. He produces news spots and work for Crosscurrents.