Twelve protesters awarded $14m after Denver police injured them during George Floyd demonstrations

A judgment in the amount of $14 million was issued by a Colorado jury in a civil trial concerning twelve demonstrators who protested in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and claimed the Denver police injured them and violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

The three-week trial ended after 5 hours of deliberation by the jury that awarded each of the dozen plaintiffs on Friday between $750,000 and $4 million each, The Denver Post reported.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs had asked for $17.5 million in damages for the injuries inflicted by bean bags and pepper spray while the city’s attorney’s argued that the jury should consider the totality of the chaotic and unprecedented situation where some protesters were launching projectiles at the officers.

An attorney for seven of the plaintiffs told Fox News that the city did not claim or have any evidence that his clients were violent during the protests.

“I think we established that when there are people committing acts of violence, what the police should do is take action against those people. What you can’t do is take it out on the peaceful protesters,” attorney Tim Macdonald said. “The acts of violence against peaceful protesters by the police were so extensive, I think that’s what persuaded the jury.”

“It shouldn’t be a weapons-first policy against peaceful protesters by the police and unfortunately, at least in significant respects, that is what happened here,” Macdonald added.

The Denver Department of Public Safety issued a statement about the protests noting that they “weren’t fully prepared for what transpired.”

“The Denver protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder were unprecedented – the city had never seen that level of sustained violence and destruction before. We were prepared for a worst-case scenario, but we weren’t fully prepared for what transpired,” the statement read.

The Department said “some mistakes were made,” and it has provided officers more extensive training in rapid deployment tactics and crowd control measures.

“In 40 years I never saw such anger against police,” now-retired Denver police commander Patrick Phelan said during the trial.

Comments on Twitter about the sizable judgment against the police show that the public is just as divided about the proper role of policing today as they were when the protests against police brutality and racial injustice occurred in 2020.


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