City of Philadelphia reaches record $9.25M settlement with demonstrators in summer 2020 protests

The City of Philadelphia has reached a record-breaking settlement with protesters who were hit with tear gas and pepper spray during protests against police brutality in the summer of 2020.

Philadelphia law firm Mincey Fitzpatrick Ross, LLC announced the settlement in the federal lawsuit filed on behalf of 237 people injured in protests against the murder of George Floyd held in Philadelphia on May 31 and June 1, 2020. The suit, which named Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, former Philadelphia police officer Richard Nicoletti, and the City of Philadelphia, was negotiated with three other lawsuits filed by attorneys in federal court.

During a press conference held on Monday morning, several case plaintiffs said they have an array of physical ailments caused by the police violence they experienced, including nerve damage from zip ties, scars from rubber bullets and reactions to chemical agents.


'It captures the terror': Attorneys release new video of Philly police using tear gas on protesters

A group of attorneys release new video of Philadelphia police using tear gas on protesters June 1, 2020 on I676.

The plaintiffs say they are not ending with the settlement as they want the city to do more to ensure the end of police brutality against residents.

Additionally, many called on mayoral candidates to speak against police violence. 


According to the law firm, three plaintiffs in the suit were sprayed in the face with chemical agents at close range by Nicoletti, who was later arrested and charged with assault related to the incident.

Attorneys say in addition to the settlement, the City has agreed to commit $500,000 - $600,000 to provide counseling to residents who live within a radius of the 52nd Street corridor in West Philadelphia and the plaintiffs. 

"The pain and trauma caused by a legacy of systemic racism and police brutality against Black and Brown Philadelphians is immeasurable," said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. "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." 

The Philadelphia Police Department will also no longer participate in the 1033 program, which provides them with military equipment from the federal government.

Commissioner Outlaw also released a statement, saying, "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 with 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 protesters, keep our communities and officers safe, and to ultimately prove that we are committed to a higher standard." 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.