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Denver BLM protester says settlement money will go to attorney and medical fees

denver police black lives matter protests
Posted at 4:22 PM, Sep 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-14 20:35:28-04

DENVER – Following this week's Denver City Council’s approval of a $1 million settlement involving police officer’s treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020, one protester said her portion of the settlement will barely cover her attorney fees and medical bills.

“I felt like I was specifically, you know, targeted because of my participation in the organization process. I wasn't really just targeted, because I was a regular protester, not in my opinion. I think they saw me speak during the protest, they followed me to my car, and they shot me in my face,” said protest organizer Lindsay Minter Thursday. “I got $50,000 and I split half of that with the lawyers, and then you know, taxes, then I get enough to fix my mouth. And that's about it. I can't save the world with the amount of money that I got.”

Minter said because the non-lethal shot she sustained wasn’t caught on camera, she was given the same amount as someone who was pepper sprayed.

But Minter said the goal of the protests and lawsuit wasn’t money, but police accountability.

“There's this idea that activists and organizers did all of that to get money and it's a money grab. No, we brought awareness by protesting and organizing in the streets,” Minter said. “We went and we worked with city leaders and politicians to get actual legislation to stop what happened. Can't use ketamine in Aurora, You know, that was one of the first things. When Breonna Taylor’s case came out, we got them to stop using no knock yes, I think it was worth it. However, the extent that I was able to make a dent and actually make an impact monetarily is different.”

Minter said she doesn’t think the settlement has made much of a difference systemically.

Denver BLM protester says settlement money will go to attorney and medical fees

“I don't think Aurora made real changes. I don't think Denver's made real changes. I think that they've put out policies to make it seem like they're going to do things different. But time and time again, we keep hearing these stories... there’s two people that me and some other organizers are working with, that have survived, you know, shootings,” Minter said.

Dr. Robert Davis, the executive director of Denver’s Taskforce to Reimagine Policing and Public Safety, said the continued police shootings are partly due to lack of officer accountability.

“We’ve seen a few incidents since the 2020 protests debacle, where there is this cavalier cowboy, it appears, type of mentality within the Denver Police Department,” Davis said. “We saw this with the shooting of the unarmed Brandon Cole, we saw this with the shooting of the six plus individuals in downtown Denver about a year or so ago, if I remember correctly. Then we look at the George Floyd protests. So the Denver Police Department really needs to do something to address the level of violence that has been exhibited by its officers on the citizens of Denver.”

Davis said he appreciates Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas’s willingness to listen and engage with the community.

“I think that the culture of DPD goes a lot deeper than just one chief,” Davis said. “I don't see where our city officials are holding DPD accountable. So the citizens are having to pay huge settlements. And that's coming out of our money. It's not coming out of the police budget.”

Minter said despite her injury, she will keep fighting for systemic changes in policing.

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