Jury Awards George Floyd Protestors With $14 Million
On Friday, March 25, jurors ordered the city of Denver to pay $14 million to protestors who were injured in demonstrations protesting against George Floyd’s death from two years ago.
A group of 12 protestors sued the city with a lawsuit stating that the “officers used weapons indiscriminately and without any or adequate warning, even at times when the crowd was merely chanting, kneeling, or standing with their hands up.”
The jury, which consisted of a majority of white men and women, made its verdict after three weeks and determined that the police violated the protestors’ First and Fourth Amendment rights.
During the trial, Elisabeth Epps, one of the 12 protestors that took part in the lawsuit, claimed that the city attorneys attempted to gaslight the protestors and even called her a “professional protestor.”
Upon having the jury side with the protestors in their verdict, Epps grew emotional and said, “it feels like being seen.”
Meanwhile, according to the Denver Police Department, five Denver police officers have been disciplined for their actions and another has been fired.
The city of Denver also released a public statement after the lawsuit stating that the officers were not fully prepared, and some were not trained properly for the protests during that time.
"Unfortunately, Denver Police Department officers and other law enforcement officers responding to assist encountered extreme destructive behavior from some agitators among largely peaceful protestors," the statement said. "We recognize some mistakes were made."
This is not the first time people have spoken out against police brutality and each time it has led to financial statements, criminal charges, and police officers being let go.
However, this case is believed to be the very first lawsuit against police officers for their use of excessive force during the George Floyd protests in 2020.
“Hopefully, what police departments will take from this case is that a jury of regular citizens takes these rights very seriously," said one of the protestors’ lawyers, Timothy Macdonald.
By Alexandria Kim