HOUSTON – Ten protestors who said they were wrongfully arrested during the George Floyd protest in 2020 are now suing the city of Houston and former Houston Police Department chief Art Acevedo.
The protestors claim they were “falsely arrested” and said jailing them was a violation of their right to peacefully assemble and speak concerning to death of George Floyd.
The alleged arrests came after thousands of people all across the United States, including Houston, protested the brutal murder of Floyd who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
One woman claims she had a $1,200 ER visit due to her injuries after police took her out of her wheelchair and ruptured her Achille’s tendon.”
“These peaceful protestors had their rights of free speech and right to peaceably assemble violated,” said civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen, “Democracy can only survive if the citizens’ rights are enforced.”
The lawsuit comes before the second anniversary of Floyd’s May 25, 2020, killing.
Janie Torres, 56, is among the plaintiffs. She’s the sister of Jose Campos Torres who was drowned in Buffalo Bayou by Houston police in the 1970′s.
Torres claims she was forced to sleep in her car for at least 14 days due to a lack of proper COVID masking requirements at a facility where she was being held before going to jail.
According to the lawsuit, many of the protesters were taken to a large crowded gymnasium with no COVID-19 preventative measures.
“I believe I was in a state of panic, anxiety... a lot of anxiety and a lot of depression,” Torres said.
The city of Houston responded to the lawsuit with the following statement:
“The city has not had an opportunity to review the lawsuit. Now that the plaintiffs have filed the petition, it will work its way through the court system,” said Mary Benton, Director of Communications for the Mayor’s Office of Communications.