PITTSBURGH - The city of Pittsburgh has agreed to pay $88,000 to settle the claims of 11 of the 24 individuals who sued the City of Pittsburgh after being swept up in a mass arrest of demonstrators, observers, and passersby in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh hours after the G-20 Summit ended on September 25, 2009. The claims of the remaining 13 plaintiffs who rejected the settlement offer will go forward.
The agreement allows the court to enter judgment in favor of the 11 plaintiffs against the city of Pittsburgh. In exchange, the plaintiffs have agreed to accept $8,000 each in damages and attorney's fees and to dismiss their claims against the individual police officers named in the lawsuit.
"The city's settlement offer allows them to move on with their lives but will not impact the claims of the other plaintiffs," said Sara Rose, ACLU-PA staff attorney.
The remaining 13 plaintiffs, including those who suffered physical injuries, such as being shot with pepper spray, will continue their case against the city and its police officers.
The lawsuits stemmed from the actions of police during the last day of the G-20 Summit on September 25, 2009. That evening the city of Pittsburgh deployed hundreds of police officers to Schenley Plaza, a public park in the middle of the University of Pittsburgh campus, after learning of plans for a demonstration in the plaza to protest the police's use of arrests, tear gas and rubber bullets in Oakland the night before. Without justification, the police ordered people assembled on the plaza to disperse and then funneled them onto the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning, where police surrounded about 100 people and then arrested them for failure to disperse and disorderly conduct. Others were arrested for failure to disperse even though they were blocks away from the plaza.