The City of San Jose has agreed to a $3 million settlement in an excessive police force case stemming from the George Floyd protest over three years ago. San Jose police had fired rubber bullets into a crowd of protesters, causing injuries, including the loss of one man's eye.
The lead attorney, Rachel Lederman of the Center for Protest Law & Litigation, stated that the case was headed to trial when the city decided to settle. Despite declaring the protest unlawful, police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters. Among those injured was Michael Acosta, who had to undergo eye removal surgery.
While police claimed that protesters had thrown objects and vandalized property, the plaintiffs, including the NAACP, asserted they had not been violent toward the police. Lederman pointed out that Officer Jared Yuen, responsible for hitting Acosta with a rubber bullet, was caught on video using offensive language and expressing eagerness to use rubber bullets against protesters. The settlement approved by the San Jose City Council includes $2.9 million for Acosta and $450,000 for 11 other plaintiffs including the NAACP.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia banned the use of rubber bullets for crowd control in June 2020, allowing their use only for self-defense. The attorney and advocates hope to see more policy changes within the San Jose Police Department and a more independent police auditor. The settlement also doesn't entail an admission of wrongdoing by the City of San Jose.
We'll be following this story as more information comes out.