ST. LOUIS – Nearly $5.2 million will go to 84 people involved in a class-action lawsuit against St. Louis City. The city has agreed to the settlement following arrests made during protests in 2017.
Javad Khazaeli is one of the attorneys involved in the lawsuit and said police arrested 84 people without a reason.
“All of these people were criminally charged. Luckily, those charges were eventually all dropped, but every person that night was criminally charged for not leaving an area which they were not allowed to leave, because the police surrounded them,” Khazaeli said.
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Several protests happened in downtown St. Louis in September 2017 following the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley. Khazaeli’s law firm, along with Cambell Law, represent 84 people arrested on the night of Sept. 17.
“The protests had been done for hours. So, these included people who just lived in the Washington Avenue area, people who were out to dinner. Remember that was the night that U2 was supposed to be in town, and (police) surrounded them without any justification, arrested them all, pepper sprayed them, beat a lot of them,” Khazaeli said.
He said attorneys on both sides have spent years arguing before judges and the appellate court. The class action complaint claims the police officers violated the constitutional rights of 84 people.
“There is a whole gamut of injuries. Some people who were just arrested that night for no reason, but they’ve had to deal with that. Going to their bosses and talking to their family members, people who accused them of doing things that they didn’t do,” said Khazaeli.
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FOX 2 reached out to St. Louis City for a comment and received this response: “With further pending litigation we will not be commenting.”
“The city is going to spend $10 million, more than that. Because one night the old acting police chief tried to show off to try to get a job,” Khazaeli said. “Imagine how many potholes we could have filled with that $10 million? Imagine how many teachers we could have kept with that?”
The settlement does not include an admission of guilt or a violation of the law.
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