City of St. Louis to pay $5.2 million to settle lawsuit following 2017 protests

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 10:18 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - The City of St. Louis is set to pay out more than $5 million to people arrested during protests following the acquittal of former St. Louis Police officer Jason Stockley in 2017.

The class-action lawsuit says 84 people had their rights violated by during mass arrests in Downtown St. Louis. On average, each person would receive around $58,000 due to the actions by police that night.

“Police surrounded them, did not let them leave, then proceeded to pepper spray them, beat them and arrest them,” said attorney Javad Khazaeli.

Some of the people in the lawsuit were participating in the protest earlier that evening of Sept. 17, 2017, but Khazaeli says some were just people who lived in Downtown and got rounded up in the “kettle.”

If approved by a judge, Khazaeli says this could be one of the largest class-action settlements awarded following a protest.

The City of St. Louis has already paid $5 million to former St. Louis Police officer Luther Hall who was beaten by fellow officers while working undercover.

There are additional lawsuits pending from that night.

“That’s money that’s coming out of taxpayer pockets. Not because of our greed but because of corrupt officers who used excessive offices. So you hope the new police chief would look at this and say, we have a new mayor, a new chief, we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Khazaeli.

News 4 reached out to Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office and the office of Public Safety, but a spokesperson says the city would not comment on pending litigation.