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KCMO clarifies failure-to-obey laws, settles lawsuit connected to 2020 George Floyd Protests

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Posted at 6:20 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 19:20:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three people detained by Kansas City, Missouri, police during the 2020 George Floyd protests have settled a lawsuit over their detention.

The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council voted 9-1 Thursday — Councilman Brandon Ellington was the lone no vote — to accept terms of a settlement in a lawsuit brought against the city by plaintiffs Sariah Moody, Grace Reading and Emily Cady.

The lawsuit, filed in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union and a local law firm, alleged the three people were wrongfully detained as they stood watch over protests on May 31 and June 1, 2020, at Mill Creek Park.

While no money was associated with the settlement, the settlement did require the city to clarify its failure to obey laws.

Under the clarified language, it is no longer a violation for any person to witness or document the actions of a public safety officer, employee or inspector, as long as they don’t hinder official duties.

It also clarified that “merely witnessing or documenting an officer in the performance of their official duties shall not be a violation unless such act substantially and physically impedes ‘any’ officer from official duties.”

The settlement called for each party to pay for their own attorney fees.