Tear gas-hardened protesters reach agreement with Richmond police

A settlement was reached at the suit of protesters on whom Richmond police used tear gas during a protest in June 2020.

RICHMAND, Virginia (AP) – A settlement was reached at the suit of protesters on whom Richmond police used tear gas during a protest in June 2020.

Six people who were among the crowd protesting near the monument to former Confederate General Robert E. Lee claimed that their constitutional rights had been violated and that the release of chemical irritants on them had been attacked, beaten and brutally neglected by police. The demonstration in Richmond was part of a wave of night protests across the country following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch quotes attorney Andrew Bodo, who said his clients reached an agreement with the city earlier this month. Bodo said the agreement opens up the same opportunity for others who have also been to the rally. He said he could not publish the terms of the confidential agreement.

“With this settlement, we now have the opportunity to accept the claims of other protesters who were in Lee Circle at the time the police entered the fight with the crowd,” Bodo said. “We expect the city to offer these individuals fair and prompt calculations to avoid the cost of additional lawsuits against the city.”

Thousands of people, including families with children, were in the crowd on June 1, 2020. The tear gas occurred about 20 minutes before curfew at 8 p.m.

Almost two hours later, they apologized on Twitter, describing the introduction of gas as “unreasonable action.” Mayor Levar Stoney and Police Chief William Smith, who resigned a few days later, apologized the next day and vowed to punish the officers.

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