Skip to contents
News

Denver reaches agreement in lawsuit over police response to George Floyd protests

A judge must sign off to finalize the agreement. It is unclear when the agreement could become final.

A Denver Police Department officer sprays pepper spray at a protester walking on Colfax Avenue near the state Capitol during the third day of protests against police brutality on May 30, 2020. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

The city of Denver has reached an agreement with four people who sued over the police department’s use of force during George Floyd protests, officials said.

The plaintiffs filed their lawsuit against the city and the police department June 5 after claiming they were injured by law enforcement officers while protesting police brutality, KUSA-TV reported. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado and the law firm Arnold & Floyd filed a second lawsuit over the issue Thursday on behalf of Black Lives Matter 5280 in Denver. That lawsuit was not part of the settlement.

A judge must sign off to finalize the agreement. It is unclear when the agreement could become final.

The lawsuit claims officers misused tear gas, flash-bang grenades and non-lethal bullets during protests in Denver following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground. His death prompted protests across the U.S. and around the world against police brutality and racial injustice.

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order limiting the Denver police department’s use of less-lethal weapons as a result. It was set to expire Friday but the city confirmed an agreement was made on how to limit the department’s less-lethal force during protests.

“The intent was to rein in the excesses, the conduct that was violating constitutional rights,” attorney Milo Schwab said. He added that only sergeants or above could approve the use of force and officers would be required to turn on their body-worn cameras during protester interactions.

Many of the provisions in the agreement were already agreed to as part of the restraining order that was set to expire.

“Protests against police violence shouldn’t be met with police violence. We’re so glad to see the city agree with us and to work with us to find a solution that both addresses our concerns while understanding there are limitations and that there are needs to make sure the public is kept safe,” Schwab said.


The Colorado Sun has no paywall, meaning readers do not have to pay to access stories. We believe vital information needs to be seen by the people impacted, whether it’s a public health crisis, investigative reporting or keeping lawmakers accountable.

This reporting depends on support from readers like you. For just $5/month, you can invest in an informed community.