DENVER — A jury on Friday awarded $14 million to 12 plaintiffs in a federal civil rights trial over the Denver Police Department's actions during protests after the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
Twelve protesters brought the federal case against Denver, claiming their civil rights were violated during the protests. Over the three-week trial, the jury heard allegations of excessive force and police brutality.
The jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs after about five hours of deliberations Friday. Nine of the plaintiffs were awarded $1 million each, while one received $3 million, one received $1.25 million, and one received $750,000.
The plaintiffs and their lawyers said they were protesting peacefully, exercising their First Amendment rights, and did nothing to deserve what they got from Denver police -- specifically, sprayed with tear gas and shot with pepper balls.
For their part, lawyers for the city said the violence and destruction caused by the protesters required a response. They said dozens of officers were injured by rocks and other projectiles thrown by the protesters. They also estimate the protests caused millions of dollars in property damage.
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