Class-action lawsuit dismissed against Cincinnati George Floyd protesters

CINCINNATI – A class action lawsuit seeking redress for property damage sustained in the social justice and police reform protests last summer will not continue.

In a notice filed on Jan. 11, Court Street Executive Suites, LLC attorney William H. Blessing dismissed his client’s complaint against 90 people raised against demonstrations between May 29 and June 1, 2020 The death of George Floyd had been arrested by police in Minneapolis.

Blessing told WCPO in an email Friday afternoon that the dismissal was filed on the client’s instructions and had made no further comment.

Blessing’s firm filed the lawsuit in October on behalf of properties in “Downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine, West End, Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview” that were “broken into, looted, destroyed, damaged, defaced or have been destroyed “. “

The lawsuit sought judicial and criminal damages, arguing that the defendants “committed a malicious combination, conspiracy and concerted behavior to perpetrate, promote, ratify and carry out the seditious behavior”.

A June analysis by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) estimated the protests resulted in more than $ 275,000 in property damage and affected approximately 80 companies.

At the time the lawsuit was filed, Howard Froerlicher – the first of the 90 defendants named in the lawsuit – said the protests were not about destruction, but peace.

“It was about George Floyd, Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee and everyone was equal,” he told WCPO in October.

According to a WCPO analysis of the arrest logs, the vast majority of those arrested on those nights were charged with “emergency misconduct,” a crime applied to people outside of the city after a city-wide curfew went into effect.

Previous reports by WCPO 9 news reporter Jake Ryle and real-time editor Sarah Walsh contributed to this story.

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