DENVER — The woman accused of hitting a person with her SUV on the first night of the Denver George Floyd demonstrations has been found not guilty of assault.
Jennifer Watson was charged with a class one misdemeanor of third-degree assault for knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to a protester and one count of reckless driving.
A Denver jury found her not guilty on the assault charge and guilty on the charge for reckless driving, according to court records.
The incident the charges stemmed from happened on May 28, the first night demonstrators gathered in front of the state Capitol in Denver. A bystander captured video that showed a car on Lincoln Street, where protesters had blocked off the street at Colfax Avenue, turning around in the road, hitting the protester and then taking off.
The Denver Police Department said they believed they had “pretty solid evidence” and turned over the findings of their investigation on June 15, 2020. The Denver district attorney filed charges on July 20, 2020.
In a statement to Denver7 last year, an attorney with Brackley Law Office PLLC said Watson was fearful for her safety during the incident. The attorney said the DA’s office was pressured to file charges in the case based on a one-sided video that went viral on social media.
"On the evening of May 28, 2020, my client was just trying to get home, driving a route she took regularly, when she was diverted by protesters at the intersection of East Colfax and Broadway. She was alone in her car with her dog when she was surrounded by people who began kicking and hitting her car and taunting and yelling at her. While stopped, Mr. Max Bailey jumped up onto the hood of her car and her windshield was smashed in two places. She was terrified and fearful for her safety," the statement read.
Following the not guilty verdict, Brackley Law Office PLLC said in a statement on Facebook, “Ms. Watson should not have been charged. We appreciate the jury’s verdict of not guilty to the assault charge.”
The DA’s office said they “felt comfortable taking to a jury and we thank the jury for their service.”