Seven dozen people who accused St. Louis police of violating their rights following downtown protests in 2017 are now picking up their settlement checks. The city agreed to pay the plaintiffs nearly $5 million. The protests followed the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley.
People who were around at that time won’t soon forget the protests, chaos, and violence that occurred after the officer who fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith was cleared of murder charges. When protests broke out, activists said, police violated their civil rights.
“I was told that everyone was under arrest and to get on the sidewalk,” said Nicole Warrington, who had never been arrested before.
She was there to document how police were interacting with activists, Warrington said. Her charge was later dropped.
The memories of what she says happened that night are crystal clear.
“The sound of the batons. There were officers lining wall to wall…,” Warrington said. “The batons were just beating, and the officers were all saying in unison, ‘Move back. Move back.’ I think I will always remember the sound of all of those batons hitting the ground. They were pushing us all into the center of the intersection, so there’s no way to get out.”
Each plaintiff is receiving an average of $43,000 after attorney fees.