aelin.elliott via Wikimedia Commons

The recent resolution of a class-action lawsuit in New York City has ignited a fierce debate, challenging the core tenets of justice and social order. The settlement, which involves the city agreeing to distribute $13.7 million to individuals who partook in the 2020 George Floyd unrest, has been met with significant backlash. This is largely due to the perception that the decision is disproportionately lenient towards the involved rioters, many of whom were not legally held accountable for their actions.

Under the settlement, the 1,380 plaintiffs, who allege that their rights were violated by the New York Police Department (NYPD), will each receive an estimated $10,000. This comes in the wake of the extensive civil unrest triggered by the tragic death of George Floyd. During this period, participants in the protests and riots were involved in numerous illegal activities including arson, assault on civilians and police, mass looting, and instigating damages worth billions of dollars.

The plaintiff group comprised of individuals who encountered arrests or force from NYPD officers amid the chaos that unfolded in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Elena Cohen, the chief attorney for the plaintiffs, argues that the lawsuit aims to safeguard the rights of the public. In a discussion with Business Insider, Cohen emphasized the necessity of enabling New York City inhabitants to protest peacefully and voice their criticisms of the government without fear of bodily harm.

However, the city’s legal representatives have countered this stance, underlining that many protests were far from peaceful and regularly devolved into looting and rioting. Their statement reads:

“Protesters set police cars ablaze; vandalized precinct houses; threw rocks, bricks, bottles at officers; stabbed, punched, bit officers; and hurled Molotov cocktails at officers.”

This controversial payout decision seems to overlook the destructive and violent nature of these riots, leading to apprehensions that it may unintentionally encourage illicit activities under the pretense of First Amendment rights.


  1. If any group should be paid for the abuse they have experienced from our government and our people it should be the Indians! They are the ones who have been mistreated and killed off and placed on Reservations. Remember the “Trail of Tears” Indians were marched, some over one thousand miles on foot and if they couldn’t keep up they were shot and killed. They were the ones whose children were taken and sent to government schools that forced them to learn how to be a white person instead of an Indian. Every treaty that was made between Indian tribes and the government has been broken by the government over the years and even some of the land on the reservations has been taken away from them. And no I do not have an Indian bloodline.

  2. Reward the Rioters? You will be paying them to destroy our monuments, our National Flag assault our police officers, destroy private properties, change our National Anthem for rap lyrics!

  3. No doubt, a payout to their friendly supporters, and a conspiracy from the beginning to fleece public funds. Many of those rioters were likely paid to be there, instigating trouble and antagonizing law enforcement for the express intent of rioting and stealing.

    If the cops had time, they should run AI facial recognition against every claimant to compare to their riot footage. Need to account for all the masked and covered “peaceful protestors” but I bet they could clear some of the open cases by comparing claimant faces to all the video they have of the crimes committed.

  4. Are we under a Dictatorship?> I feel that those millions should be used to compensate Our Native Americans, Our Disable Citizens and Veterans.

  5. How much does one get for looting a Best Buy? Some people could use a new flat screen in addition to 10 grand. Asking for a friend?

  6. They have GOT to be kidding?! I would say only in New York City but strongly suspect it can happen in any red led area.

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