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Republican National Convention protesters settle with New York City

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Republican National Convention protesters settle with New York City
Police form a line as protesters gather in Herald Square without a permit to demonstrate just blocks from where the Republican National Convention is taking place August 31, 2004 in New York City. (UPI Photo/Monika Graff) | License Photo

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Protesters who were arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention said they have agreed to settle their claim against New York City for $18 million.

Twenty-four protesters sued New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and dozens of police officers in November 2004 for false arrest, punitive detention, abuse of process and other constitutional violations.

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They claimed that police used mesh netting as part of an indiscriminate mass arrest policy during the protest. The protesters also said they received cruel and inhumane treatment in makeshift cells at Pier 57.

"On information and belief, the floors of the cages in Pier 57 were covered with numerous highly toxic chemicals and substances, including, on information and belief, those known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, hepatogenic and immunotoxic," the original complaint said.

The protesters won class certification in 2011, covering 1,800 individuals, and the settlement includes $10.4 million for the plaintiffs and $7.6 million for their lawyers, Courthouse News Service said.

Seven protesters did not sign onto the settlement and still have active cases.

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City attorney Celeste Koeleveld said that the settlement includes victories for New York, and argued that policies used by police during the convention were upheld.

American Civil Liberties Union Lawyer Christopher Dunn called the settlement the largest for a protest case in the United States, Courthouse News said.

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