The city of Denver will pay $1.6 million to settle lawsuits filed by seven people injured by police officers while protesting the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
Denver police shot the seven protesters with pepper balls, rubber bullets and flash-bang devices even though the protesters were demonstrating peacefully, according to the six lawsuits.
One woman was walking away from police when an officer shot her in the head with a rubber bullet, which knocked her unconscious, according to her lawsuit. Another man sued because he was tear-gassed while peacefully protesting with his 12- and 18-year-old sons.
The largest settlement of $575,000 was paid to Gabriel Schlough, whom a Denver police officer shot in the face with a rubber bullet, according to his lawsuit. The projectile severed off a portion of his chin, the lawsuit states.
“The tactics employed by law enforcement during the George Floyd protests in Denver were brutal and intolerable in a society that believes in freedom of speech,” said Andy McNulty, the attorney who represented the protesters. “Officers inflicted rampant police violence on peaceful protesters. These settlements compensate our clients for the pain and suffering they endured, but until there is a reckoning within society that law enforcement does nothing to make us safer, and in fact poses a significant danger to those who would dare speak out and stand up for their rights, these incidents will continue to happen.”
The Denver City Council approved the settlements Monday evening.
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