No kettling, more training: Inside the settlement that changes how the NYPD patrols protests


A new settlement announced on Tuesday will result in a fundamental change to how the NYPD will police protests going forward, according to the mayor’s office and the Legal Aid Society.

Calling the reform a landmark agreement, the Legal Aid Society says the NYPD will be forced to radically alter the way they respond to protests following a settlement resulting from a series of lawsuits dating back to the 2020 George Floyd demonstrations. During what was known as the summer of protests that saw thousands take to the streets in fury over police killing a Minneapolis black man, both the public and journalists on the street accused the NYPD of being unnecessarily violent.

A brief clash between protesters and police in Midtown on Sept. 23, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)

Now, according to City Hall, the NYPD will follow a four-tier system when responding to protests across the Big Apple and will most notably prohibit the practice of kettling — in which officers encircle protestors — amongst other methods of dismantling large gatherings. Cops will also be barred from using intimidation tactics to break up the demonstrations.