Lawsuit against City of Denver asks court to stop police use of less lethal tactics immediately

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DENVER (KDVR) – A lawsuit filed Thursday afternoon asks a judge to take immediate action to prevent the police department from continuing its use of less lethal tactics like pepper balls.

Denver police “cannot be trusted with the use of non-lethal weapons against protesters,” says the complaint, filed by civil rights attorney, Milo Schwab. 

He asked a judge to issue an immediate, temporary restraining order, barring the City of Denver from the “use of tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper balls, pepper spray, and flashbangs.”

The suit, filed as a class-action, names four protesters who said they were negatively affected by the police tactics. The suit also includes video clips and photographs of incidents recorded on social media and elsewhere.

One piece of video shows police launching pepper balls at a car as the driver shouts that his passenger is pregnant.

Another video shows police firing less lethal shots at a woman who was standing in the street with her hands up, blocking their vehicle from driving into the intersection.

The complaint accuses the police of engaging in “injurious riot control tactics without issuing clear warnings and orders to disperse.”

The suit also references a FOX31 report about Megan Matthews who said she suffered facial fractures when a 40mm sponge grenade struck her in the eye during her peaceful protest.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers asked the police and the City of Denver for comment on the lawsuit. At this point, we have not heard back.

Meanwhile, FOX31 previously reported that the chief of police apologized to peaceful protesters who were inadvertently struck by less lethal weapons. He also said it was not the intention of police to target peaceful protesters and there would be an independent review of the incidents.

On Friday, the lawsuit, which was originally filed in state court was moved to the federal court.

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