Thursday, February 17, 2022

City Statements on Lawsuit Settlements Related to May 2020 Protests

Austin City Council today approved settlements in two lawsuits related to the May 2020 protests. Under the settlements, Justin Howell will receive $8 million and Anthony Evans will receive $2 million.

City of Austin Spokesperson:

"We are settling two lawsuits filed by individuals who suffered significant injuries during the May 2020 protests.

"We have reviewed the totality of the circumstances surrounding the protests, and we believe it is in the best interest of these plaintiffs and the City of Austin to resolve these cases now. We have other claims and lawsuits that have been filed as a result of injuries during the protests, and we will review each of those matters individually.

"The significant dollar amounts in today’s settlements stem from these particular plaintiffs’ need for ongoing and long-term care.

"Following the protests, APD committed that it will no longer use bean bag ammunition for crowd control. The City continues to reform public safety policies and procedures in the interests of our community."

Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon: 

“I understand the Council’s decision to settle these two cases now and our hearts go out to these two individuals who received serious injuries during the May 2020 protests.

"When APD responded that day, our goal was to protect people gathering to exercise their right to protest as we have safely done for many years.

"We planned for protests with crowds that would be similar to past protests. In hindsight, we were not prepared for the heightened frustration felt by so many community members, nor the size and scope of the crowds. As tensions escalated, APD instructed our officers to use tools that we thought would help manage the crowd for everyone’s safety. However, we did not anticipate the injuries that occurred from the use of the less-lethal rounds. We now prohibit the use of less-lethal ammunition for crowd control.”

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