Home News Baton Rouge city council approves settlement for protesters who attacked police

Baton Rouge city council approves settlement for protesters who attacked police

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FILE -In this Saturday, July 9, 2016 file photo, A protester yells at police in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters after police arrived in riot gear to clear protesters from the street in Baton Rouge, La. After a turbulent summer marred by bloodshed, racial tensions and catastrophic flooding, Louisiana's capital will elect a new mayor to lead a city emerging from some of its darkest days. (AP Photo/Max Becherer, File)
FILE -In this Saturday, July 9, 2016 file photo, A protester yells at police in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters after police arrived in riot gear to clear protesters from the street in Baton Rouge, La. After a turbulent summer marred by bloodshed, racial tensions and catastrophic flooding, Louisiana’s capital will elect a new mayor to lead a city emerging from some of its darkest days. (AP Photo/Max Becherer, File)


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Baton Rouge Metro Council approved a settlement Tuesday paying activist DeRay Mckesson and other protesters arrested during summer demonstrations over the shooting death of Alton Sterling.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/2gffQXQ ) that under the terms of the deal, the city government, the Louisiana State Police, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney’s office will pay no more than $25,000 each for a total of about $100,000.

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Mckesson was among nearly 200 protesters arrested after Sterling, a black man, was shot July 5 during a struggle with two white police officers. His shooting death sparked widespread protests in the city about the treatment of black people at the hands of police.

Police arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along Airline Highway, a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. Protesters angry over the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by two white Baton Rouge police officers rallied Saturday at the convenience store where he was shot, in front of the city's police department and at the state Capitol for another day of demonstrations. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
Police arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along Airline Highway, a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. Protesters angry over the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by two white Baton Rouge police officers rallied Saturday at the convenience store where he was shot, in front of the city’s police department and at the state Capitol for another day of demonstrations. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

The federal class action suit accuses police of excessive force and violating their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly.

The Aug. 4 lawsuit says police advanced against protesters while wearing military gear and gas masks and brandishing assault weapons alongside armored vehicles. Officers threatened peaceful protesters by pointing weapons directly at them, the suit says.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has said the officers’ use of riot gear and weaponry was an appropriate response. The governor, a Democrat who comes from a family of sheriffs, also noted that a police officer had teeth knocked out by a rock during the protests.

Two of the 12-member council voted against the settlement, including John Delgado, who was furious at the payout.

“To me, this encourages that type of behavior to happen in the future,” Delgado said. “I have no interest in paying $100,000 in taxpayer dollars to people who are coming into our city to protest.”

But Parish Attorney Lea Anne Batson said the price is much smaller than what the city might have had to pay if only one of the 92 plaintiffs had been able to prove they’d been wrongfully arrested.

This does not end the legal drama surrounding the Sterling shooting and ensuing protests. The Department of Justice is still investigating Sterling’s death. And an unnamed Baton Rouge police officer who claims he was injured during one of the protests is suing Mckesson as well as Black Lives Matter.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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