The Final Settlements in the J20 Case Seek to Sanction State Repression

The checks are in the mail.

The last two defendants in the J20 case—the shorthand name for the disgraceful mass arrest and legal prosecutions that targeted 20 working journalists who covered a left-wing demonstration on Donald Trump’s inauguration day—have reached a settlement in their lawsuits against the District of Columbia and the city’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The two journalists—freelance writer Aaron Cantú and livestreamer-photojournalist Alexei Wood—alleged that they were chased through the streets, pepper-sprayed, and exposed to sting balls, smoke flares, long-range acoustic devices, and concussion and flash-band grenades; they were placed in zip ties so tight that they lost feeling in their fingers, and were deprived of food, water, and a toilet in a arrest process deliberately prolonged to extend their discomfort and pain. Wood’s cameras were damaged, then confiscated. Both men suffered PTSD and other adverse psychological effects arising from their arrest and detention, and each settled their claims for $73,000 apiece.

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