A Seattle high school history teacher Jesse Hagopian, pepper-sprayed by police, says he’ll donate the $100K settlement to help movement for justice.
Jesse Hagopian, who was pepper-sprayed by police just after he finished giving a speech at an annual rally marked to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., announced Tuesday, June 14, that the settlement he received from the city will be used to help people in similar or worse situations.
Sometime in January 2015, Hagopian, while on call with his mother just after his speech, was pepper-sprayed without a reason by a female police officer, Sandra Delafuente.
A video of the incident was captured showing Officer Delafuente showering pepper spray on a group of protesters. Hagopian was not part of the demonstration, he was just a passerby.
Hagopian later filed a $500K lawsuit against the city for the pain he went through after being pepper-sprayed; he was settled, with a sum of $100,000 after months of fighting the suit.
On Tuesday, Hagopian said in an interview, “While that money isn’t justice, that money is going to help the movement for justice. He continued, saying “I want to want to announce today that I am using the money to help fund an initiative in our city called ‘Black Education Matters’, a student activist award. And I am going to use the money for community organizations who are in the pursuit of racial justice, to support Black Lives Matter initiatives, and social justice initiatives in our city that can help in the fight for real justice.”
It has come to a juncture when members of black communities have realized that they only can lean on themselves in this country, because the government refuses to support minorities and solve their problems. This is why communities need people like Hagopian, who can do whatever it takes to fight for justice.
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