(RightWing.org) – Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists took to the streets in nationwide protests for months in the wake of George Floyd’s May 2020 death at the hands of then-police officer Derek Chauvin. A Minnesota judge sentenced Chauvin to 22.5 years in June 2021, but the legal fallout from the BLM-led riots continues to play out in some jurisdictions.
On Friday, March 25, a federal jury concluded Denver police officers violated the rights of 12 protesters and awarded them a total of roughly $14 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The jury deliberated for about five hours at the conclusion of the three-week trial.
The city of Denver, Colorado, is set to pay a total of $14 million in damages to George Floyd protesters. https://t.co/jPslzp5Ohg
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 26, 2022
Damage awards to BLM activists ranged from $750,000 to $3 million. The trial marked the first time a jury heard an excessive force case related to protests/riots over George Floyd’s death. However, several municipal governments have settled other lawsuits out of court, including Denver, which has paid out more than $1.3 million so far.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued police officers’ use of excessive force violated their First Amendment rights to protest. They also claimed police officers violated their Fourth Amendment right to be “secure in their persons” through their use of “less-than-lethal” ammunition, often fired at sensitive body parts without warning.
Denver officials conceded police made mistakes but argued the police officers’ misconduct did not rise to the level of constitutional violations.
What kind of message do you think this jury award sends to BLM activists and other radical groups?
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