Seattle ordered to pay $82K to Black Lives Matter attorneys

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SEATTLE — The city of Seattle has been ordered to pay nearly $82,000 to attorneys for Black Lives Matter to cover their fees and costs in pursuing contempt-of-court violations against the Seattle Police Department.

The contempt violations were for the “improper” use of pepper spray and blast balls by police against protesters after the custodial death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, AP reported.

The amount by U.S. District Judge Richard Jones ordered was much less than the nearly $264,000 in fees and costs sought by lawyers for BLM-Seattle and King County after Jones found police had violated his injunction prohibiting unnecessary force.

Jones did not place “coercive sanctions” against the city, sought by BLM, which would have required the Seattle Police Department to provide BLM with use-of-force reports within days of every incident in which an officer uses force against a protester.

The judge said those sanctions were not appropriate in this case. However, he also rejected the city’s efforts to have him reconsider his contempt finding.

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