Protesters that were arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during demonstrations that followed the death of Alton Sterling, will be receiving a notable payout from state and local authorities, who they accused of using excessive force and violating their civil rights.
According to The Advocate, Metro Council voted this past Tuesday evening to approve the settlement in the federal class action lawsuit. The settlement, approximately $100,000 in total, will be borne by four agencies paying no more than $25,000 each: the city government; the Louisiana State Police; the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office; and the District Attorney’s Office.
The 92 plaintiffs will each receive $230 in the lawsuit, with the rest of the money under the $25,000 cap for the city parish going towards bonding fees, attorney’s fees and other costs.
Although East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he would not prosecute the protesters involved (one of which included prominent activist DeRay Mckesson) and ultimately detained on misdemeanor counts of blocking a highway, protesters said they were still forced to pay substantial arrest fees in order to be released.
A 12 member panel approved Tuesday’s settlement, but Metro Councilman John Delgado was one of two people who was strongly against the decision.
“To me, this encourages that type of behavior to happen in the future,” Delgado told The Advocate. “I have no interest in paying $100,000 in taxpayer dollars to people who are coming into our city to protest.”
However, it turns out that only 10 percent of the Baton Rouge protesters were from out of town, with the majority being locals. Roughly 1,000 Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the Baton Rouge Police Department, making their way along the Airline Highway where some ended up getting detained.
Despite the settlement, Baton Rouge activists are still demanding justice for Sterling, whose death at the hands of two local cops is still being investigated by the Department of Justice.