Denver can pay $4.7 million to settle a category motion lawsuit that alleged that protesters have been unjustly focused for violating the town’s curfew throughout demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd in 2020.
City councilors unanimously agreed to the deal Monday with none debate.
The lawsuit alleged that the town directed police to solely implement the emergency 8 p.m. curfew towards protesters, violating their free speech rights, though the curfew utilized to all individuals in any public place. It additionally mentioned that over 300 protesters have been taken to jail within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic moderately than simply being issued tickets for violating the curfew.
“The First Amendment does not allow police to clear the streets of protestors simply because they do not agree with their message,” the lead legal professional for the protesters, Elizabeth Wang, mentioned in a press release.
The metropolis denied having an official coverage of utilizing the curfew towards protesters however determined that persevering with the lawsuit and going to a trial could be “burdensome and costly,” in response to the settlement.
Last 12 months, a federal jury ordered Denver to pay a complete of $14 million in damages to a bunch of 12 protesters who claimed police used extreme power towards them, violating their constitutional rights, throughout the demonstrations.
The curfew deal is the most recent in a sequence of settlements associated to the 2020 protests over police killings of Floyd and different Black individuals.
In March, the town council accredited a complete of $1.6 million in settlements to settle lawsuits introduced by seven protesters who have been injured, The Denver Post reported.