Progreso settles federal lawsuit over lockdown curfew order
A federal lawsuit against the city of Progreso over pandemic restrictions was settled, according to the Texas Civil Rights Project.
The city was sued after a teenager was pulled over and arrested on April 2020 in the early days of the pandemic when cities issued adopted curfews and banned nonessential travel, and arrested and fined those who violated those orders.
In a statement, the TCRP said the city abused the pandemic curfew orders for profit, and used it as a “pretext to arrest and levy large fines against anyone passing through the city.”
PREVIOUS STORY: Legal battle over 2020 traffic stop in Progreso continues
The Texas Civil Rights project said in a news release that as part of the settlement, the city will dismiss all active cases, warrants and fees stemming from the shelter at home orders, and pay damages to the teenager.
“With this settlement, the city is taking ownership of the harm it inflicted upon the community through the policy of excessive and unnecessary enforcement of the pandemic curfew orders,” TCRP attorney Travis Fife stated in the news release. “[The city] is not just providing relief to our client, but has agreed to identify and dismiss any remaining cases charged under the City’s stop-everyone-in-town policy.”
Over the course of two months, 82 people were pulled over by Progreso police officers via Hidalgo County’s Shelter at Home order, the news release stated. At least 46 of those people were arrested and had to pay "steep fines" over it.
Channel 5 News reached out to the city of Progreso for comment. As of Friday afternoon, the city hasn't responded.
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