Jury awards $14 million to protesters brutalized by Denver cops in 2020

A Colorado jury has awarded $14 million to protesters who were injured by Denver cops during 2020 protests against police brutality.

Jurors deliberated for four hours on Friday before returning a verdict that police used excessive force against protesters and violated their constitutional rights, the Denver Post reported.

Protests swept the country in 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who was killed when a white cop, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes.

In Denver, racial justice protesters were met with pepper spray and police projectiles, including a Kevlar bag filled with lead shot fired from a shotgun in the case of one plaintiff. The 12 protesters who sued the city were awarded between $750,000 and $4 million each.

Lawyers for the victims successfully argued that the police were not properly trained, which resulted in numerous injuries. Protester Zach Packard was hit in the head by a shotgun blast and ended up hospitalized, CBS News reported. Other injuries included a fractured skull, pepper spray used at point-blank range on protesters’ eyes, and bruises and cuts from other projectiles.

City attorneys did not provide evidence that the 12 plaintiffs acted violently during the protests.

“There is such a balm on my soul right now from this verdict,” Elisabeth Epps, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told the Denver Post after the verdict.

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