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The Year of the Plague – 22 – On Police Excesses, Shitfuckery in Denver Protests – 2 – Federal Judge describes Police Brutality Against Protesters as “Disgusting”

June 7, 2020

District One Denverites Demonstrate, protesting the murder of George Floyd and the national epidemic of police abuse

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A US District Court Judge in Denver has issued a temporary restraining order against the Denver Police Department for its violence against peaceful demonstrators. In an decision ordering the authorities of the city of Denver to restrain its police from using tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators, Judge R. Brooke Jackson characterized Denver Police excessively violent behavior as “disgusting” …which it was.

 

Writing an opinion for United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 20-cv-01616-RBJ, U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson enjoined “the City and County of Denver, and specifically the Denver Police Department and officers from other jurisdictions who are assisting Denver Police Officers, from employing chemical weapons or projectiles of any kind against persons engaging in peaceful protests or demonstrations. To be better assure that this idealistic order is carried out, the Court temporarily enjoins the Denver Police Department and officers from other jurisdictions working with Denver Police Department officers from using chemical weapons or projectiles.

The city of Denver is appealing the decision on a number of technical grounds.

In his written decision Judge R. Brook Jackson noted that “the Denver Police Department has failed in its duty to police its own,” and referred to police excesses in the recent protests of the killing of George Floyd of Minneapolis as “disgusting,” a rather damning term rarely used in Federal District Court decisions.

The kind of police violence – essentially police rioting against peaceful demonstrators – taking place in Denver is, of course, a part of a broader picture of police rioting nationally. It needs to be noted that this violence has been sanctioned and encouraged by the Bunker Boy, U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump and those closest to him that have given the green light for police department nationwide to unleash nothing short of a reign of terror against civilian protesters.

The “disgusting” comment was used in the following context:

“Some of the behavior of what I hope and believe to be a minority of the police officers in Denver and the nation during recent days … not only vis a vis persons of color but against peaceful protesters of all backgrounds has been disgusting.”

“Some of the behavior…of police officers in Denver…has been disgusting.”

Not only were peaceful protesters victimized by police violence in the Denver demonstrations but also the media, ie – anyone trying to record or photograph the events as well as those ad hoc on the spot medical teams trying to treat those injured by police violence.

The complaint against the Denver Police Department was lodged by four plaintiffs, Abazi Abay, Michael Mcdaniel, Amy Schneider and Gabriel Thorn called for prohibiting the police “from using chemical agents or certain force against individuals engaged in demonstrations activities, documentation of the demonstration and police activities, or the treatment of injured demonstrators.”

The court order continued:

Plaintiffs challenge the Denver Police Department (“DPD”)’s use of chemical agents (including mace/oleoresin capsicum spray or mist/pepper spray/pepper gas, tear gas, skunk, inert smoke, pepper pellets, xylyl bromide) and rubber projectiles on protesters participating in these demonstrations. …. Plaintiffs sue on behalf of themselves and similarly situated individuals, alleging that during these demonstrations the Denver police have in some instances violated their First Amendment right to free speech and their Fourth Amendment right against excessive force by using pepper spray, pepper balls, rubber bullets, flashbang grenades, and tear gas to punish plaintiffs for demonstrating against police brutality.

The court order noted:
∙  It had reviewed video evidence of numerous incidents in which officers used pepper-spray on individual demonstrators who appeared to be standing peacefully, some of whom were speaking to or yelling at the officers, none of whom appeared to be engaging in violence or destructive behavior.
∙  that the plaintiffs cited video evidence of officers using projectiles on several journalists in the process of documenting the scene.
∙  that the plaintiffs cited video evidence in which a projectile struck and knocked out a peaceful protester.
∙  that a “medic” protester attempting to rescue the unconscious protester was subsequently shot with projectiles.
∙  that the plaintiffs further cited video evidence of four incidents in which police projectiles struck the eyes of peaceful demonstrators, in some cases resulting in facial fractures, in some cases resulting in permanent loss of vision.
∙ Plaintiffs cited video evidence of three incidents in which officers threw tear gas or shot pepper balls into peaceful crowds

Denver police brutality documented by protesters, affirmed by a U.S. District Court.

What people of color in Denver have long known and experienced for decades has now been extended to Whites, to the media covering these events – or trying to – and to those trying to provide medical relief to those whose heads, groins and thighs were hit by police rubber bullet and pepper spray projectiles causing fractures, loss of eyes and ruptured testicles

Nor was that the extent of the plaintiff’s case.

They accused – and the U.S. District Court affirmed that the Denver Police used “such force has resulted in injuries including loss of vision, fractured bones requiring surgery, deep lacerations, loss of eyes, ruptured testicles. They further alleged that officers have targeted peaceful protesters, journalists, and protest “medics” and have retaliated against demonstrators for engaging in demonstrations, and sometimes for expressing anti-law enforcement. Plaintiffs allege that this use of force against peaceful protesters and others is sometimes intentional and that officers target projectiles at demonstrators’ heads and groins.

There are growing indications that Bunker Boy will pay a price for this at the polls in November.

Police violence has been as ugly here in Denver as in New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere in the country. Like other cities, when the liberal facade of the city is peeled off, the reality of a long tradition of police violence, police killings of civilians, most especially Black, Brown and Native American youth surfaces.

What people of color in Denver have long known and experienced for decades has now been extended to Whites, to the media covering these events – or trying to – and to those trying to provide medical relief to those whose heads, groins and thighs were hit by police rubber bullet and pepper spray projectiles causing fractures, loss of eyes and ruptured testicles.

As reported in The Denverite, one of the defendants, Amy Schneider, a long labor organizer said that on Monday night (June 1, 2020) “police surrounded the group she was with and tackled her to the ground. At the press conference announcing her lawsuit, she pointed to bruises she said came from their pepper balls.” Schneider also noted that three of the four defendants in the case were white, perhaps explaining why the case had been ruled upon so quickly. “Win a lawsuit in two days?, she wondered, “this has been an experience in my level of privilege.”

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