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St. Louis to pay $5.2 million after mass arrests in 2017

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The city of St. Louis to pay nearly $5.2 million to settle claims by people arrested during a protest in 2017 for the acquittal of a police officer for the murder of a black man, the St. Louis Post -Shipment reported.

According to a proposed class action settlement filed last week, the city agreed to pay $4.91 million, or about $58,500 per person, to 84 people who were protesting in downtown St. Louis.

The lawsuit alleged that protesters’ rights were violated when they were caught in a police “kettle” as officers surrounded and arrested everyone in the area. Three people who filed individual lawsuits settled by $85,000 each.

They were protesting after former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was acquitted on December 20, 2011, of killing Anthony Lamar Smith.

Protesters said police surrounded more than 120 people who officers said did not follow orders to disperse. Several people said police used excessive force and indiscriminate pepper spray, including against passersby who were not protesting.

The city denied any wrongdoing as part of last week’s settlement. A city spokesman declined to comment on Monday.

However, the settlement proposal must be approved by a judge.

Earlier, the city paid $5 million to Luther Hall, an undercover black officer who said he was attacked by other cops who thought he was a protester.

In 2021, the city also agreed to pay $115,000 to a deceased Kansas City filmmaker who claimed he was beaten and pepper sprayed during the protests.

Many other Stockley-related cases are still working through the St. Louis legal system.

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