RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)–The city of Richmond is spending more than $1 million dollars to settle lawsuits filed after the racial justice protests in 2020.

In the summer of 2020, months of protests led to more than a hundred lawsuits against Richmond.
This week, the city attorney’s office told 8News it spent $1,617,960.90  to settle 122 claims linked to the 2020 protests.

8News legal analysts Russ Stone said parties could settle in a case for a few reasons.

“Most of the time, in fact what often happens is a settlement is reached because frankly a settlement is cheaper for both parties. You don’t have to spend the time preparing the case for trial,” he said.
Richmond began settling lawsuits last year from protesters who alleged police misconduct.

In December 2021, 8News reported the city spent nearly $300,000 dollars to settle claims of police using chemical irritants while protesters walked on the sidewalk.

The claims were also about a federal case linked to the teargassing of peaceful demonstrators at the former Robert E. Lee statue.

“It’s often the case when a civil case is settled in that fashion, they include a clause that says neither party can talk about it,” Stone said.

He added for most civil cases the statute to file a lawsuit is about two years.

“So, at some point obviously we’re going to run past that statute of limitations, and we won’t see any more suits filed,” Stone said.

The total amount of money the city is paying to settle cases linked to the 2020 protests could go up as there are more lawsuits brought against Richmond.