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Jury finds Denver police violated constitutional rights of 2020 demonstrators

On Friday, a jury found Denver police violated the constitutional rights of protestors in 2020.

These demonstrators were protesting the police over the killing of George Floyd. According to CBS News, the city of Denver, Colorado has to pay a total of $14 million in damages to a group of 12 demonstrators who sued.

The city police were found to have used excessive force against protestors and violating their constitutional rights. The trial included three weeks of testimonies and video evidence of the police and protestors during the incident. The jury returned with a verdict after four hours of deliberations. 

Those who sued had been shot at or hit by everything from pepper spray to a kevlar bag filled with lead fired from a shotgun. A lawyer for the protestors, Timothy Macdonald, asked jurors to send a message to police everywhere by finding the city liable.

“There’s such a balm on my soul right now from that verdict,” said Elisabeth Epps, a lawyer and activist who was one of the demonstrators who sued.

Zach Packard experienced the worst injuries after being hit in the head by the shotgun blast. He was placed in an intensive care unit, and ended up receiving $3 million, which was the largest damage amount. Jurors found that police violated both the free speech rights of protestors and their rights to be protected from unreasonable force.

The Denver Police Department has disciplined five officers for their actions during the protests. Nationally, aggressive responses from officers as people protested police brutality has led to financial settlements, the removal of police chiefs, and criminal charges.

ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: GAZETTE.COM

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I was born and raised in Omaha, NE before moving to Sioux Falls, SD to attend college at Augustana University. This past May I graduated from Augustana with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Biology with an emphasis in Allied Health. I first discovered FBA through my involvement with Turning Point USA where I worked as a Campus Coordinator in college. I have a passion for politics and activism, and was drawn to FBA’s dedication to spreading the truth. Unbiased news is rare in today’s society, so I wanted to be a part of FBA’s mission to change that.

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