Denver protesters from the racial justice rallies in 2020 were granted $ 14 million after a jury found that the police used excessive force on them.
A jury of eight found that 11 protesters had their free speech rights and rights to be protected from unreasonable force violated, while others only had their free speech rights violated, The Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit came after police used shotguns that contained Kevlar-bags filled with lead to quell protests, with Zach Packard awarded $ 3 million after he was shot in the head and taken to an intensive care unit.
The protests began in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by police in May 2020.
“Hopefully, what police departments will take from this is a jury of regular citizens takes these rights very seriously,” Timothy Macdonald, one of the prosecutors, said after the decision, according to the AP.
The city argued in court that the police made mistakes, but they were overwhelmed by the destruction and size of the protests.
Protesters were seen throwing rocks and canned food at authorities while causing millions in damages.
“The violence and destruction that occurred around the community required intervention,” Lindsay Jordan, one of the defense lawyers, said, the AP noted.
The lawsuit alleged the city was also responsible because they gave the police officers too much leniency in defining “less lethal” devices.
The police department says five officers have received disciplinary action for their actions during the protests.
The Hill has reached out to the city and Macdonald for comment.