Crime Pays: NYC Shells out $13M to George Floyd-BLM Rioters in Legal Settlement

My colleague Jim Thompson wrote recently about a New York City man who repeatedly failed the teachers’ exam—in fact, despite multiple attempts, he was never able to pass it—but who received a $2 million payout from former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration because somehow the questions were discriminatory.


Turns out there’s another way besides failing to make money in the Big Apple—rioting. On Wednesday, the city agreed to shell out $13 million to approximately 1,300 people who participated in the 2020 George Floyd-BLM riots. They claim they were subject to police brutality and mistreatment:

If it is approved, it would become one of the largest payouts ever in a lawsuit regarding mass arrests. The lawsuit highlighted 18 different riots that took place in the summer of 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died of a fentanyl overdose while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rioters who were present for at least one of those 18 instances claimed that they were beaten or treated unfairly by the NYPD; each of the roughly 1,300 plaintiffs will be eligible for approximately $9,950 in compensation if the settlement is approved [by a judge]. The agreement was reached by the city government in order to avoid going to trial.

The plaintiffs were represented by the National Lawyers Guild. The rioters claim NYPD leaders deprived protesters of their First Amendment rights by conducting a campaign of brutality and unlawful arrests.

City attorneys argued that protesters set police cars on fire, threw rocks and bottles at officers, and that law enforcement was just responding to an unprecedented and out-of-control situation. Georgia Pestana, one of the city’s lawyers, also denied the rioters’ allegation that the force had a history of violating protesters’ rights: “There is no history — or present or future — of unconstitutional policing,” she wrote in a memo. “There is no frequent deprivation of constitutional rights.”


However, we will never know for sure because the evidence will not be heard in court, and witnesses will not testify and be cross-examined because the city wanted to avoid a trial that “could be both expensive and politically fraught.” Because of the settlement, neither side will be forced to admit wrongdoing.

Republican Councilwoman Vickie Paladino was not pleased, tweeting:

Worse, as my colleague Nick Arama commented, rioters know they can get paid:

I’ve been covering leftist protests for about 13 years. Suing and getting paid by cities for brutality is part of their modus operandi; they use it as a means of helping to finance themselves. It’s a “thing.”

It’s not random or “one-off.”

They know cities would rather settle.

Expect other cities to agree to fork over cash in the future.

The riots shook America to the core and led to strongly-divided opinions—conservatives were appalled at the destruction and violence, while liberals felt it was justified because the United States is just so horrible. Many Democrat politicians seemed to openly condone the mayhem.

Remember this?


Remember, we’re not talking about some folks with signs chanting, singing songs, and marching peacefully. We’re talking about this:

The 2020 race riots, which spread throughout the country starting in late May, saw dozens of cities attacked by far-left rioters and domestic terrorist groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter. In the months-long chaos, hundreds of businesses and other buildings were burned to the ground, dozens of civilians were murdered in the streets, and over $2 billion worth of damage was caused across the country.

Unfortunately, it looks like crime does actually pay for these folks.


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