MINNEAPOLIS >> The city of Minneapolis has settled the first lawsuit by a demonstrator injured by a police projectile in violent protests that followed the death of George Floyd.
Graciela Cisneros, 22, will receive a payment of $57,900 for injuries to her face when a police officer fired a non-lethal round at her May 29 as she walked home from a demonstration. Cisneros’ cheekbone was broken and her injury required stitches. She was not arrested.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed off on the settlement last week.
Major civil unrest followed the May 25 death of Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. Four officers have been charged in his death, including Derek Chauvin, who is white and who knelt on his neck while Floyd lay handcuffed in the street.
Cisneros’ lawsuit is one of several that allege police misconduct during the protests following Floyd’s death. At the time, Cisneros was a student at Augsburg University in Minneapolis and was living in the suburb of Eagan.
Her attorney, Nico Ratkowski, said there was green paint on Cisneros’ face, indicating she was likely shot with a “marking round” used by police to control a crowd. Ratkowski said he could not determine the name of the officer who fired the round.
Ratkowski also represents Ericka Khounedaleth, 21, an accounting administrator from Plymouth, in a second federal lawsuit. Her lawsuit said she was yanked from her car at gunpoint by a Minneapolis police officer who pushed her to the pavement on May 31, the Star Tribune reported.
Khounedaleth was driving a car with four passengers with the intention of passing out water bottles to protesters and pulled into a parking lot to turn around when police pointed guns at her, Ratkowski said.
“She was ripped out of the car without any warning,” said Ratkowski. Khounedaleth was handcuffed with plastic ties and put on a city bus with other protesters.
The Minneapolis city attorney’s office declined to comment on the settlement.