Corey Stoughton Defeats PBA’s Motion to Veto Historic George Floyd Protest Settlement


Corey Stoughton Defeats PBA’s Motion to Veto Historic George Floyd Protest Settlement

Selendy Gay Special Counsel Corey Stoughton successfully argued in opposition to a motion by the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) to oppose entry of a landmark settlement reached by the New York Police Department (NYPD), the New York Attorney General, and 11 protesters and journalists wrongfully arrested and beaten at the protests that occurred throughout New York City following the death of George Floyd. Selendy Gay serves as co-counsel to those protestors and journalists alongside the Legal Aid Society and the New York Civil Liberties Union in the consolidated matter In Re: New York City Policing During Summer 2020 Demonstrations.

On January 29, 2024, in front of Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York, Corey argued on behalf of the consolidated plaintiffs in opposition to the PBA’s motion. Corey began her argument by “noting that the PBA is seeking to upend a settlement negotiated and agreed to by the city of New York, their client, the leadership of the NYPD, two other police unions, the Attorney General of the state of New York, a wide range of protesters and journalists, and approved by the most qualified expert in protest policing before this Court.” Selendy Gay attorneys Liam Murphy and Katie Buoymaster assisted Corey in preparing for her argument.

On February 7, 2024, Judge McMahon denied the PBA’s motion, approved the settlement, and granted the settling parties’ motion to dismiss. In doing so, Judge McMahon found that the PBA failed to provide evidence that police officer safety would be compromised by the settlement, which mandates the adoption of certain policies and procedures regarding the policing of protests or demonstrations at which individuals are expressing their rights under the First Amendment.

Following the decision, New York Attorney General Letitia James stated, “These policing reforms will better protect New Yorkers’ public safety and their constitutional right to peacefully protest. I am pleased with today’s decision to allow the terms of our agreement to move forward in full. With these policing reforms, New Yorkers can exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully protest without fear, intimidation, or harm.”