University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Black Lives Matter 5280 v. City and County of Denver PN-CO-0004
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-01878 ( D. Colo. )
Additional Docket(s) 1:20-cv-03155  [ 20-3155 ]  District of CO (U.S.)
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Police Violence Protests (Spring/Summer 2020)
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
Case Summary
This lawsuit was filed on June 25, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The suit was made in response to police tactics used on protesters amidst the protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in May and June of 2020. Represented by private counsel and ACLU ... read more >
This lawsuit was filed on June 25, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The suit was made in response to police tactics used on protesters amidst the protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in May and June of 2020. Represented by private counsel and ACLU attorneys, plaintiffs in this case were Black Lives Matter 5280, a Denver-based chapter of Black Lives Matter, and nine individual plaintiffs. They brought this suit against the city and county of Denver, officers of the Denver Police Department (DPD), and officers of the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

The plaintiffs alleged that the city and state police used a number of less-lethal weapons on them as they were peacefully protesting, including but not limited to tear gas, smoke canisters, rubber bullets, foam bullets, pepper balls, flash bang and rubber-pellet grenades, and pepper spray. According to the plaintiffs, these actions constituted various constitutional violations. They alleged that the defendants violated the plaintiffs' rights to free speech, free assembly, and freedom to petition under the First Amendment. Secondly, they alleged that defendants' actions violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments' prohibitions on unreasonable seizures and excessive use of force. The plaintiffs sought declaratory relief stating that defendants' actions were illegal, injunctive relief to prohibit defendants from engaging in the same behavior, and compensatory and punitive money damages. They also sought costs and attorney's fees.

The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty. However, on July 31 the case was reassigned to Judge R. Brooke Jackson.

Several days later, the Court ordered that this case and a related case, Cruz v. County of Denver, be consolidated. The actions were consolidated under the Black Lives Matter 5280 docket.

In early September, the Court held a scheduling conference. The plaintiffs are to file a motion for class certification on or before March 26, 2021 and a fifteen-day jury trial is set for March 7, 2022.

On October 28, 2020, the Court on its authority consolidated another recently filed case-Acker v. City and County of Denver- with Black Lives Matter 5280. Black Lives Matter 5280 was designated as the lead case. In Acker, filed on October 22, 2020, another individual who participated in protests in Denver following the death of George Floyd sued the City and County of Denver, the Denver Chief of Police, and five Denver police officers under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleged that while assisting other protesters who had just been pepper-sprayed and hit with projectiles, he was hit with a 40mm round in the eye. Similar to the complaint in Black Lives Matter 5280, the individual alleged that the defendants violated his rights to free speech and free assembly under the First Amendment, unlawfully retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment rights, and used excessive force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment.

This case is ongoing as of January 2, 2021.

Jack Hibbard - 09/29/2020
Emily Kempa - 01/02/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Pepper/OC spray
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Denver
Colorado State Patrol
Denver Police Department
Plaintiff Description Black Lives Matter 5280 and nine individual plaintiffs
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 06/25/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-CO-0005 : Cruz v. Denver (D. Colo.)
PN-CO-0003 : Abay v. Denver (D. Colo.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D. Colo.
12/30/2020
1:20-cv-1878
PN-CO-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Colo.
06/25/2020
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-CO-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Colo.
10/22/2020
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-CO-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Jackson, Richard Brooke (D. Colo.) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allison, Reid (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0002 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Anderson, Robert Reeves (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Aro, Edwin P. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Custer, Kathleen K. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001
Douglas, Matthew (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Havriliak, Anya Amalia (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Herzberg, Arielle Kay (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Macdonald, Timothy R. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
McNulty, Andrew (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0002 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Neel, Sara R. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
O'Brien, Colin Michael (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Reidy, Patrick Conor (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-9000
Silverstein, Mark (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-0001 | PN-CO-0004-9000
Thompson, Tara Elizabeth (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-9000
Twetten, Daniel Moore (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-9000
Wang, Elizabeth C. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Birkholz, Hollie Renee (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-9000
Cooperstein, David Charles (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-9000
Huss, Robert Charles (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0004-9000

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