Washington, DC: (Jul-31-07) A class action lawsuit was brought against the District of Columbia by more than 100 peaceful demonstrators who were unlawfully trapped and arrested by DC police on September 27, 2002. The plaintiffs alleged that they were trapped by police on Connecticut Avenue between K and L Streets, or near Vermont Avenue and K Street, while they were peacefully marching. Approximately 400 other peaceful demonstrators and onlookers were unlawfully arrested soon afterward in Pershing Park.
As part of a proposed settlement, the DC has agreed to pay $1 million to the class members to resolve the lawsuit. The District's offer also includes expungement of their arrest records and agreement not to oppose a court order deeming the arrests null and void. Under the agreement, class members will each receive about $6,000, and will have the opportunity to erase their arrest records and obtain a court order permitting them to deny that the arrests ever occurred. Some of those arrested have encountered obstacles to obtaining citizenship and professional licenses, and when crossing the border. [