Spokane to pay $210K to settle lawsuit over BLM protest

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The city of Spokane will pay a woman $210,000 after police fired a nonlethal bean bag round at her throat during a downtown Black Lives Matter protest in May 2020.

The projectile strike forced Chandra Haine to undergo surgery, and her physical and mental health remains affected, according to settlement documents written by Haine’s attorney, Nicholas Kovarik.

The documents were obtained by KREM-TV of Spokane.

The Spokesman-Review reported the Spokane City Council approved the settlement amount on Monday.

Kovarik wrote that the claim arose from the use of “excessive and unreasonable force” against Haine by a Spokane police officer on May 31, 2020. Haine was standing next to her vehicle watching a Black Lives Matter protest in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Haine was not involved in the subsequent vandalism and never violated a police order or laws, the documents said.

Haine has permanent physical deformities, including scars and swelling of her face and neck. She has numbness on her lower lip, jaw, chin and throat, and she can no longer close the left side of her mouth, documents said. Haine also has difficulty chewing and her voice is hoarse.