Denver photog awarded $485K in settlement stemming from injury during protest in 2020

The man reportedly severed his finger when an officer shot him with a less-lethal projectile


By Kieran Nicholson
The Denver Post

DENVER — A Denver photographer who nearly had a finger severed when a police officer shot him with a less-lethal projectile while he documented George Floyd protests in 2020 in downtown Denver has agreed to settlements of $485,000, according to his attorneys.

Trevor Hughes has come to terms with Denver, Golden, Arvada and Jefferson County, according to Killmer, Lane & Newman, the law firm representing him.

On Monday, Denver City Council approved a resolution authorizing payment, for “liability claims,” of $350,000 to settle Hughes’ excessive force lawsuit against the Denver Police Department.
 

Golden, Arvada and Jefferson County, also named in the lawsuit, have each agreed to $45,000 settlements. Hughes filed the lawsuit in August 2021 in U.S. District Court in Denver. Law enforcement agencies from around the metro area aided Denver police during the 2020 protests. The settlements with Golden, Arvada and Jefferson County were reached in September.

On May 31, 2020, Hughes was photographing protesters in Denver, with his camera held to his face, when an unidentified officer shot him with a projectile, shattering the camera and ripping through his right ring finger, according to the lawsuit. Surgeons reattached Hughes’ finger but he has not recovered full use of it. He’s learned to use his cameras with his left hand.

“The tactics employed by law enforcement during the George Floyd protests in Denver were brutal and intolerable in a society that believes in freedom of speech,” said Andy McNulty, Hughes’ attorney, in a written statement. “Officers inflicted rampant police violence on peaceful protesters. This settlement compensates Mr. Hughes for the pain and suffering he endured.”

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