The Los Angeles City Council approved a $2.45 million payment Wednesday to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by about 300 Occupy L.A. protesters and observers who accused police of improperly arresting them and detaining them on buses for several hours.
The suit was filed in December 2012 on behalf of people who were at the Occupy L.A. encampment at Los Angeles City Hall on Nov. 29, 2011, when the Los Angeles Police Department was conducting its eviction of the protesters.
The settlement amount was approved 11-1, with Councilman Mitch Englander casting the lone dissenting vote.
Dan Stormer, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said the protesters and people observing the eviction were detained in unconstitutional ways, such as being handcuffed too tightly, being kept on a bus for long periods — sometimes for six hours — and not allowed to use the bathroom.
Stormer said some followed police instructions to move to a specific area, but were arrested anyway.
The people included in the class-action were represented by a “consortium of attorneys concerned about the behavior of police that night,” Stormer said.
“It was a situation that never should have happened,” and police acted in an “overzealous” way, he said.
— City News Service