WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The city will pay a $30,000 settlement to uptown Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who sued the city after claiming police officers beat him during an Occupy Wall Street protest.
Rodriguez said he was beaten and thrown to the ground when he was arrested on November 15, 2011, during an NYPD sweep of Zuccotti Park.
The councilman previously told DNAinfo that he drove to the site at around 1 a.m. after hearing from some protesters about the surprise raid. He then ran into a group of people who were clashing with police a few blocks north of the park, Rodriguez said. As he crossed the street, he said a police officer grabbed him, threw him down and hit him with a baton, he added.
Rodriguez was later left in a police van for two hours before being brought inside to One Police Plaza, he said.
Police maintained that the councilman was arrested for failing to follow their instructions. They charged him with resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration, but those charges were later dismissed.
In 2012, Rodriguez and several others filed the civil rights suit against the city.
The city ultimately settled with Rodriguez for $30,000. Two protesters who were also a part of the lawsuit, Jeffrey McClain and Yonatan Miller, received settlements of $70,000 and $1,500 respectively.
Public Advocate Letitia James was also listed as a plaintiff in the suit. However, that aspect of the case is still open, said Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department.
“Settling was in the best interest of the city,” Paolucci said of the decision, declining to elaborate.
Rodriguez declined to comment.