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City Agrees to $2.45 Million Settlement with Occupy LA

The City Council of Los Angeles has agreed to settle claims brought by Occupy LA protesters for $2.45 million.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the deal is not final until it is approved by a District Court judge.

The settlement is the result of a class-action lawsuit filed against the city in December 2012. The suit claimed the group’s civil rights to assembly and association were violated when LA police in riot gear arrested 300 occupiers on November 30, 2011.

Protesters claimed they were mistreated by police with tight handcuffs and no access to water or a bathroom for hours after the arrests.

Occupy LA was located on the ground surrounding LA’s City Hall. The tent city lasted for a total of 59 days until then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided to clear it. Police declared an unlawful assembly and, when protesters refused to clear the part, they moved in.

The Los Angeles settlement is significantly larger than three settlements reached last month in New York. City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez won $30,000 after he sued over his arrest on November 15, 2011. Another lawsuit brought by Jeffrey McClain, who claimed he was beaten by police, was settled for $70,000 and a third smaller settlement was made with another occupier for $1,500. A spokesman for New York’s law offices told the NY Daily News the settlements were, “in the best interest of the city.”

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