PHILADELPHIA — The City has announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with a group of Plaintiffs who filed a Class Action lawsuit alleging physical and emotional injuries caused by the City’s response to civil unrest and demonstrations related to the murder of George Floyd of Minneapolis on May 31 and June 1 of 2020. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include residents of West Philadelphia and individuals who participated in demonstrations calling for police accountability on I-676. The Parties have finalized the agreement and received court approval.
Under the Agreement, a total of $9.25 million will be distributed among the 343 Plaintiffs. Additionally, a grant will provide $500,000-$600,000 to Bread & Roses Community Fund for free mental health counseling for West Philadelphia residents. Mental health counseling will be available to all residents within a radius of 52nd Street corridor in West Philadelphia, not just plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
City officials provided statements in response to the announcement of the settlement.
“After several years of negotiation, we are confident that this settlement will provide an opportunity for the plaintiffs to heal and move forward from the incidents on May 31, 2020 and June 1, 2020. We are thankful that as a part of the terms of the settlement, Bread & Roses Community Fund will have the opportunity to provide mental health counseling to affected residents,” said Diana Cortes, City Solicitor.
“The pain and trauma caused by a legacy of systemic racism and police brutality against Black and Brown Philadelphians is immeasurable. While this is just one step in the direction toward reconciliation, we hope this settlement will provide some healing from the harm experienced by people in their neighborhoods in West Philadelphia and during demonstrations on I-676 in 2020. We are proud of the progress made through the Pathways to Reform, Transformation, and Reconciliation initiative and continue to collaborate with the Philadelphia Police Department to implement reforms and keep our communities safe,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
“The mass demonstrations that took place in Philadelphia and across the nation in response to the murder of George Floyd were unprecedented in scope. The Philadelphia Police Department is a learning organization, and we remain dedicated to moving forward in meaningful and productive ways. Along with city, state, and community stakeholders, we will continue to work non-stop towards improving what we as police do to protect the first amendment rights of protestors, keep our communities and officers safe, and to ultimately prove that we are committed to a higher standard,” said Danielle Outlaw, Police Commissioner.