After deliberating for nearly five hours, the jury decided that Denver police response during protests in May and June 2020 violated these protesters’ constitutional rights, the documents show.
The City and County of Denver was a defendant in the lawsuit along with Jonathan Christian, a police officer during the 2020 protests.
After the jury’s decision, the City and County of Denver told CNN in a statement that the city wasn’t fully prepared for what transpired during the “unprecedented” protests.
“Unfortunately, Denver Police Department officers and other law enforcement officers responding to assist encountered extreme destructive behavior from some agitators among largely peaceful protestors,” the statement said. “We recognize that some mistakes were made.”
It added: “Based upon what we have learned, we have made specific changes to how the Police Department will respond if protests erupt in violence in the future, and those changes were being implemented prior to any litigation.”
Attorneys for the City and County of Denver and Christian did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The protesters claimed in the lawsuit that they were seriously injured when police officers fired at their heads, pepper-sprayed them and threw flashbang grenades along with teargassing them, the court document says. One protester suffered a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain, the document says.
The protesters said they were injured because the Denver Police Department had policies that either allowed that to happen or that officers weren’t sufficiently trained.
CNN’s Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.