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NYC to pay $330,000 to settle pepper-spray Occupy lawsuits

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New York City has agreed to pay more than $330,000 to six Occupy Wall Street protesters who claimed a police officer doused them with pepper spray without cause, an incident that helped galvanize the movement during its early days.

Lawyer Mark Taylor, who represented three of the protesters, said on Monday that the settlements for each of the six individuals ranged from $52,500 to $60,000.

“We think it’s good compensation for the injuries that occurred to our clients,” Taylor said. “They are settlements that we think reflects the city’s realization that they were very much liable.”

The deals, which resolve several civil lawsuits filed in Manhattan federal court, come nearly four years after Occupy protests swept the country, as activists called for greater income equality.

Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the city’s law department, said, “It was in the city’s best interest to settle these cases.” The city did not admit wrongdoing as part of the agreements.

The incident, captured on video, occurred on Sept. 24, 2011, just a few days after Occupy protesters set up camp in a park in New York’s financial district.

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The video showed Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna using pepper spray on several protesters during a march in downtown Manhattan.

The clip went viral, helping to draw attention to the nascent Occupy movement.

The New York City Police Department docked Bologna 10 vacation days for violating departmental policy.

“It’s a reasonable settlement for the pepper spray felt ’round the world,” said lawyer Ron Kuby, who represented one of the protesters.

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A lawyer for Bologna was unavailable for comment on Monday afternoon.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quit’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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