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A Colorado jury on Friday awarded a $14 million judgment to 12 protesters after discovering Denver cops violated their constitutional rights amid chaotic demonstrations in 2020 over police brutality and racial injustice.
Jurors discovered Denver violated the First and Fourth Modification rights of protesters, who claimed cops injured them in the course of the gatherings that had been sparked by the loss of life of George Floyd, the Denver Submit reported. They heard testimony in regards to the alleged failure of police to coordinate in the course of the legislation enforcement response in the course of the three-week civil trial.
The 12 plaintiffs had been injured with bean luggage and pepper-sprayed throughout a number of days of gatherings in downtown Denver. On the finish of the trial, attorneys requested the jury to award $17.5 million in damages.
“I feel we established that when there are individuals committing acts of violence, what the police ought to do is take motion in opposition to these individuals. What you possibly can’t do is take it out on the peaceable protesters,” Tim Macdonald, legal professional for seven plaintiffs, instructed Fox Information. “The acts of violence in opposition to peaceable protesters by the police had been so intensive, I feel that is what persuaded the jury.
He added that the town by no means offered proof or argued that the plaintiffs had acted violently.
“The Denver protests within the aftermath of George Floyd’s homicide had been unprecedented – the town had by no means seen that degree of sustained violence and destruction earlier than,” the Denver Division of Public Security stated in a press release to Fox Information. “We had been ready for a worst-case state of affairs, however we weren’t totally ready for what transpired.”
The company stated it acknowledges “some errors had been made” and that every one officers have obtained extra coaching on crowd management response and speedy deployment techniques.
Excessive-ranking officers testified in regards to the police division’s response, with some saying it was troublesome to discern who was throwing projectiles or inflicting property injury.
“In 40 years I by no means noticed such anger in opposition to police,” Patrick Phelan, the now-retired Denver police commander who oversaw protest response, stated throughout his testimony, the Submit reported.
One plaintiff claimed she was bruised throughout protests and was focused by police for recording them along with her cellphone, Fox affiliate KDVR reported.
“It should not be a weapons-first coverage in opposition to peaceable protesters by the police and sadly, not less than in vital respects, that’s what occurred right here,” Macdonald stated.
Denver has already paid out $1.Three million tied to lawsuits over protests.