DENVER (KDVR) – Adding to a growing list of lawsuits filed against the City and County of Denver related to the police response to the George Floyd protests, Trevor Hughes filed a complaint in federal court Wednesday blaming police officers for nearly severing his finger in May 2020.
“I had to go into emergency surgery for them to operate on it,” Hughes, who also named the City of Aurora in his lawsuit, said.
Hughes, a photographer who likes to play guitar, told the Problem Solvers he was documenting the protests and riots by taking pictures and videos when something struck his right ring finger and knocked his camera out of his hand.
“I looked down at my hand and saw my finger and immediately just thought, ‘Oh my God. They’re going to have to amputate this thing,'” he said. “Blood spurting out, like you see in the movies.”
Hughes said he believes a police projectile did the damage, cleanly breaking his bone and sending him into shock.
“There was a mark on my finger – a good sized mark – it was like a perfect circle that left a mark there,” he said.
Hughes said he filed the lawsuit because he wants accountability.
“To have a just society, I think there has to be justice,” he said.
Andy McNulty, the attorney who filed the suit, said not enough police officers have been disciplined or held accountable for their actions during the protests.
McNulty is also representing other people who suffered injuries during the protests and riots in separate lawsuits against Denver.
“We’re looking to hold someone accountable,” said McNulty.
The Problem Solvers recently reported on a separate incident in which Denver investigators determined a PepperBall struck and blinded a man, but no officer was disciplined because no one could determine who pulled the trigger.
“To say that these investigations have been thorough and have been as thorough as the Denver Police Department would investigate other crimes is just a lie,” McNulty said.
The City and County of Denver typically does not comment on pending litigation.
However, Police Chief Paul Pazen has previously told the Problem Solvers the department has been conducting additional training for officers. Other policies have been changed or adjusted to improve accountability.
Ryan Luby, a spokesperson for the City of Aurora, also said it would be improper to comment on active litigation.
“The City has not been served with the lawsuit yet nor reviewed any of the claims,” he told the Problem Solvers.
The City of Aurora recently completed its internal review of its mutual response to the Denver George Floyd Protests and found no grounds for disciplining any of its officers.