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Legal Aid Society: NYPD “Pattern of violence” violates spirit of Payne settlement

May 21, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BAY RIDGE — THE LEGAL AID Society on Tuesday released a press statement condemning police conduct at a pro-Palestine march in Bay Ridge on Saturday at which officers were filmed punching restrained protesters, saying that the NYPD continues to “violate the spirit” of an agreement reached last year in the wake of controversial police actions during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. The group demanded that the mayor take action to ensure the terms of the agreement are followed. This settlement, known as Payne et. al. v. de Blasio et. al., resulted in the NYPD having to pay $35 million in claims to protesters, and agree to moderate their presence at peaceful protests, including reducing officer counts and allowing demonstrations to temporarily block traffic; the agreement also states that “the fact that some individuals in a crowd have engaged in unlawful conduct does not by itself provide grounds” to break up a protest or march. 

“The NYPD continues to violate the spirit of this historic settlement and delay its implementation by preemptively and needlessly deploying outsized force to peaceful protests… Multiple protestors sustained injuries, and even credentialed members of the press were arrested for merely performing their jobs to cover the demonstration. The officers who used excessive force must be held to account and disciplined,” the statement concluded.


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