I'm back from vacation, and damn I picked a bad week to be gone. The City settled a major lawsuit over the 2020 protests, decided to prosecute someone for defending the homeless, and the Office of Police Accountability found the Seattle police union vice president, Officer Daniel Auderer, violated policy when he laughed about his fellow Officer, Kevin Dave, striking and killing Jaahnavi Kandula, who died about a year ago this week. I'm going to a conspiracy party this weekend and dressing as the freaks who schedule press releases based on my PTO requests. Anyway, let's dive into a couple of these.

City settles lawsuit filed by the protesters who cops gassed and sent to the hospital over multiple weeks during the demonstrations over George Floyd's murder. In the largest case to come out of the 2020 protests, more than 50 people sued the City over their resulting injuries, including "permanent hearing loss, broken bones, concussions, wounds, bruising, and emotional damage including PTSD," according to the Stritmatter Firm, who represented the plaintiffs. Attorney Karen Koehler pointed out that while the City settled for $10 million, it spent about $30 million fighting the lawsuit. The City's response to the settlement, including City Attorney Ann Davison's comment basically saying she's ready to move on, really irked Koehler and the plaintiffs, who thought the payout would result in some contrition on the part of the City.

I spoke with one of the plaintiffs, Abie Ekenezar, a Black veteran and mother to a now 22-year-old son, who said she went out to protest in 2020 to try and make the country safer for herself and her son. The response from police made her fear for her life and her friends' lives. In suing the City, she wanted to force them to reckon with the actions of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) during that time. After the City's statements, she worried that the City hasn't learned from 2020, and that future protests may be met with the same aggressive response from SPD. However, she had no regrets about settling the lawsuit, saying that after three years many of her fellow plaintiffs felt exhausted and traumatized. She also said she'd keep showing up for future protests.

However, another plaintiff I spoke to who skipped the press conference and asked not to be named said they viewed the settlement as nothing compared to what the cops took from them during the protest, and they would have liked to see the case go to trial. "I don't know anyone who was regularly on the ground who is OK three-and-a-half years later," they said. 

Meanwhile, the City Attorney's office seems intent on wasting more money and throwing the book at more protesters. I plan on covering a trial today in municipal court where Davison's office is prosecuting a Stop the Sweeps protester on a misdemeanor obstruction charge for allegedly trying to prevent SPD from towing another person's RV while the person waited on a spare tire. The trial should wrap up today, but a a two-day trial over a guy standing on an RV for 12 minutes seems like a wild waste of City resources.

Amazon Ring takes less cozy approach to cops: Ring announced yesterday it planned to stop allowing cops to “mass-request footage” through the Neighbors app, which allowed cops to request footage from users in a specific area, bypassing search warrants. On some occasions, Ring turned over camera footage to police without notifying users, according to the Associated Press. Still, Fight for the Future Director Evan Greer said Ring still massively expands the surveillance state, and that government needs to step in to prevent "private surveillance partnerships" from violating people's civil liberties and privacy.

Amazon also promises no new delivery fee: DoorDash, Uber, and Instacart embarrassed themselves by implementing new fees in Seattle after a City ordinance forced them to pay their drivers a living wage. But Amazon made the savvy choice to undercut these nerds by coming out and saying it won't add a fee to their Amazon Flex delivery service, according to KING 5. Sucks to suck, DorkDash, Ugher, and Instafart.

Taylor Swift is a cop: New York Police Department Officers arrested a Seattle man after he allegedly hung around outside Swift's home in New York for about four days, despite security personal asking the man to leave and not return, according to KOMO. A New York District Attorney charged the man with stalking and harassment. The man appeared to be "emotionally disturbed."

Controversial nitrogen execution to move forward: Unless the US Supreme Court steps in, Alabama plans to kill a man tonight using nitrogen gas, suffocating him to death, according to the Associated Press. No state has tested this method of execution before.

Trans people trapped in Florida prisons unable to access care: Florida banned the use of state funds to pay for "sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures." Afterwards, according to the Marshall Project, more than 20 women in Florida prisons said their care abruptly changed.

Safe Word by serpentwithfeet: Some chill music for your morning commute. Stay dry, find your safe place.