After a federal jury's $14 million award to Denver protesters who were severely injured during a 2020 police brutality protest, more protesters could sue law enforcement and win, the Associated Press reports. The jury found that police used excessive force against protestors and ordered the city to pay the 12 who sued. The verdict could incentivize states to settle the backlog of at least 29 similar pending lawsuits rather than risk losing at trial, said University of Michigan law Prof. Michael Steinberg, director of the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative. “There’s no doubt that the large jury verdict in Denver will influence the outcome of pending police misconduct cases brought by Black Lives Matter protesters across the country,”
The pending cases include one brought against New York City by state Attorney General Letitia James. Another suit accuses Rochester police of using extreme force on demonstrators protesting the death of Daniel Prude, who was pinned to the ground by police during a mental health call in 2020. Washington, D.C., activists who were forcibly removed from streets in front of a church prior to a photo-op by then-President Trump's have also sued law enforcement. Over the last two months, the city of Austin, Tx., agreed to pay a total of $13 million to four people who were hit in the head with bean bag rounds fired by police.