A jury has awarded protestors a total of $14M in damages, after ruling that they were victims of excessive force by the police during demonstrations after George Floyd's murder.
The trial found that the city of Denver had violated the First and Fourth amendment rights of 12 of the protesters, who were injured with a range of weapons, including bean bags and pepper spray.
Too often law enforcement believes it can get away with violence against citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. This verdict sends a message that violence against protesters is not condoned. Agencies and departments across the US should consider reforms in policing to prevent further incidents.
The demonstrations following George Floyd's death saw unprecedented levels of sustained violence and destruction. Although some mistakes were made by police (which have since been addressed with additional training) they couldn't have been prepared for what transpired or the level of anger channeled towards authorities.