Last week, the city of Denver reached a settlement in a lawsuit that had been filed against the city by a group of Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists who had participated in the violent riots that took the country by storm in the summer of 2020.
According to the Daily Caller, the lawsuit had been filed in November of 2021 by seven rioters, each of whom claimed that the city had arrested over 300 people for violating a curfew. The settlement, which was made on August 23rd, saw the city agree to a payment of $4.7 million and a promise that it would never again enforce future curfews against rioters and protesters.
“The First Amendment does not allow police to clear the streets of protesters simply because they do not agree with their message,” said Elizabeth Wang, an attorney for the rioters, in a statement after the settlement.
The curfew of 8:00 PM had been imposed in late May of 2020 by then-Mayor Michael Hancock (D-Colo.), in response to the violence that saw many businesses burned and looted. The curfew expired in June of that same year.
Although the city defended the curfew policy and insisted its actions were not unconstitutional, it nevertheless agreed to a settlement in order to avoid the “burdensome and expensive” costs of going to trial.
BLM rioters took the streets in cities across the country following the death of George Floyd, a black man who overdosed on fentanyl while in police custody in Minneapolis. The riots, carried out by the black nationalist group BLM and the Anarcho-Communist group Antifa, resulted in hundreds of businesses burned, over $2 billion worth of damage, and dozens of civilians murdered in the streets.