DENVER, Colorado (LifeSiteNews) – The Denver City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a $4.7 million settlement with more than 300 protesters arrested during the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots for violating a curfew order they claim was enforced in an unconstitutional, discriminatory manner.
In May 2020, the death of a Minneapolis criminal during a police altercation sparked a wave of protests across the country predicated on the narrative that the incident was symptomatic of systemic racism in American law enforcement rather than an isolated case of misconduct for which the officer involved was investigated, tried, and ultimately convicted and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. Many of those protests devolved into rioting that led to killing, injury, and millions in property damage.
As part of efforts to quell the unrest, the City of Denver imposed a curfew. But a lawsuit representing BLM activists alleged that it was only enforced against protesters and not people out at night for unrelated purposes, something the City Attorney’s Office denies but the plaintiffs claim is backed up by law enforcement text messages.
CBS Colorado reported that the City Council voted without dissent to approve the settlement for more than 300 BLM protesters. “In addition to compensation to protesters, the settlement prevents the City from enacting any curfew enforced against those engaged in protest activity in the future,” plaintiffs’ attorney Elizabeth Wang said.
“Under the proposed settlement, the total amount for class members is expected to be between approximately $3.0 to 3.5 million with the remaining approximately $1.22 to 1.72 million allocated to attorneys’ fees, costs, and settlement administration expenses,” the City Attorney’s Office added. “The settlement must be approved by the District Court.”
Still, the amount does not satisfy one of the arrested protesters, Claire Sannier, who said “the city has agreed to pay for this one instance of violent suppression of free speech, while they continue to brutalize and imprison people every day. Our message is that Black Lives Matter is as necessary now as it was in 2020.”
Alleged double standards concerning the Black Lives Matter movement in left-wing jurisdictions tend to go in the opposite direction, such as Washington, D.C. pro-life activists being prosecuted for sidewalk chalk messages while BLM activists were not for vandalism.
While BLM’s public demonstrations have receded, its ideology still persists in the proliferation of “critical race theory” in public education and in “implicit bias” policies supported by Democrat state, local, and federal government.
In fact, however, research shows that police are not disproportionately likely to use excessive lethal force against black suspects and may actually be less likely out of fear of being accused of racism after the fact. In addition, the vast majority of police shootings of blacks since 2014 have occurred in cities controlled by Democrats.