DENVER — The Denver City Council on Monday approved six settlements totaling $1 million for three lawsuits brought by people who sued in federal court over the law enforcement response to the 2020 George Floyd protests.
More than $900,000 will go to a group of four protesters, who filed the first lawsuit over the city’s response to protests in the summer of 2020 over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The protesters alleged Denver police gassed them without warning, shot at them with pepper balls and hit one of them in the head with a 40 mm launcher (though he wore a helmet at the time).
Out of the protesters who sued, Amy Schneider will receive $350,000; Michael McDaniel, $100,000; Agazi Abay, $235,000; and, Gabriel Thorn, $320,000.
One day after the lawsuit was filed in June 2020, Senior Judge R. Brooke Jackson prohibited officers in Denver, or from any other agency working with the city, from using chemical weapons or “less-lethal” projectile weapons through a temporary restraining order, unless supervisors on scene authorized their use in response to personally witnessing specific acts of violence or destruction.
Jackson’s order at the time also put limitations on the manner in which police could use the weapons, such as barring them from aiming at people’s heads, pelvises or backs, firing indiscriminately into crowds and requiring orders to disperse before firing chemical weapons.
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