The Baton Rouge Metro Council agreed to a $100,000 settlement for a lawsuit filed by prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and other protesters.
The deal maintains that the city government, the Louisiana State Police, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney’s office will each have to pay no more than $25,000, reports the Star Tribune.
Parish attorney Lea Anne Batson said the settlement is a small price to pay compared to what it would have cost if even one of the plaintiffs were proven right.
Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson was among many who were arrested as they protested the July shooting of Alton Sterling.
McKesson and other protesters walked along the side of a highway; they were taken into custody and charged with “simple obstruction of highway commerce.” The charges were later dropped.
The protesters’ lawsuit alleged that the police used excessive force when clearing the highway of protesters. They also claimed that the police violated their right to free speech and assembly.
“Defendants used excessive force in attacking, battering, beating and assaulting plaintiffs and class members without provocation or the need for defense,” the lawsuit claimed.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards previously said that the officers wearing riot gear was appropriate, noting that one officer had his teeth knocked out with a rock.
Not all council members were happy with the settlement; two members voted against it.
John Delgado said he felt that the settlement would just encourage protests like these to happen again.
“To me, this encourages that type of behavior to happen in the future. I have no interest in paying $100,000 in taxpayer dollars to people who are coming into our city to protest,” Delgado explained.
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