Oakland Protesters Receive $1 Million in Settlement

| by Emily Smith
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The City of Oakland has agreed to pay $1 million to 150 people arrested in 2010. At the time of their apprehension, the group was protesting the sentence of a white transit officer in the killing of a black man.

Protesters argued they were held in a prison cell for 24 hours without being formally booked, and that they were removed from the site before police policy was violated.

According to some protestors, there was no medical attention for those who needed it and food was not given for at least 12 hours.

"We brought the lawsuit in order to protect the constitutional right to dissent in Oakland," said Rachel Lederman, lead attorney in the case for the National Lawyers guild. “Our primary goal, and our clients’ primary goal, was to stop” unlawful police practices.

Most protesters will receive $4,500 as settlement, though Lederman said the lawsuit is more about sustaining rights than receiving payment. She added that the greatest victory was a reestablishment of policy crowd control policy and court enforcement of the policy.

Sources: VC Star, San Francisco Bay Guardian