Justice Is Served? Baton Rouge Protesters To Be Awarded $1000 In Class Action Settlement

Baton Rouge
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It's been sixteen months since Alton Sterling was killed by police outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store. 

Sterling had been selling homemade CD's. It's unclear what happened when officers approached him, but we know what happened next.

The extremely graphic cellphone video incited outrage, and when people took to the streets in protest a clash with police ensured.

In the days following the shooting nearly 200 people were jailed and "treated like animals" a report found.

Now, a federal judge has approved a class-action settlement that awards up to $1,000 in cash to dozens of the protesters whose civil rights were violated by police that day.  

This judgement comes as a slight glimmer of justice for Baton Rouge activists and a community still reeling from the Justice Department's May decision to file no charges against the officers involved in Sterling's death.

Sterling was shot six times in the chest and back while pinned to the ground by the officers. 

Sixty-nine arrested protesters, including Black Lives Matter leader DeRay Mckesson, are now eligible for payments ranging from $500 to $1,000.

“It obviously is a matter that touches on a lot of sensitive issues and had the potential for being very contentious and destructive,” U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles said when given his final approval.

The judge valued the settlement at roughly $136,000.

“I’m definitely glad that we’re getting some justice, though at the same time it’s a really painful memory to dig up,” said Kira Marrero, a 24-year-old plaintiff from New Orleans who was arrested during the protests. 

“I’m still pretty heartbroken, I guess, by everything that happened. I think everyone who knew me trusted that I wasn’t out there breaking the law and that clearly something was wrong.”

While this is a step in the right direction, this is just one of several outstanding lawsuits against Louisiana law enforcement agencies and Baton Rouge leadership.