U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez awarded a $1 million settlement Wednesday to the student protesters who were pepper sprayed at point-blank range on the University of California-Davis campus.
Some 21 protesters will receive $30,000 each. Most were students demonstrating against tuition hikes on Nov. 18, 2011. Another 38 people later came forward to make claims, 15 of which were approved to receive $6,666 a piece, the Davis enterprise reports.
UC will pay an additional $250,000 to cover the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs and $20,000 to cover the American Civil Liberties Union’s work as part of its effort to improve policies and procedures for handling protests.
The settlement was reached in September 2012, but needed approval by a federal judge to make official.
Lawyers for both sides called it a "good deal." Although the UC administration and campus police force were called out for multiple failures in a task force review of the pepper spraying, Judge Mendez said the university has "done the best job possible under the situation" since the events transpired.
The university has worked towards implementing reforms mentioned in the task force's report, and Lt. John Pike, the officer who actually fired the pepper spray, no longer works on campus.
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