Denver, CO

Denver to settle another police lawsuit for $82,000

David Heitz

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Many payouts from the Denver Police Department stem from the George Floyd Protests of summer 2020.Colin Lloyd/Unsplash

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) The City Council is expected to settle another lawsuit between the Denver Police Department and a man who claims police violated his civil rights.

Elijah Westbrock sued the city in federal court and named police officers William B. Bastien V and Jesse Sandoval as defendants.

The circumstances surrounding the alleged civil rights violation are unclear. The city has settled several lawsuits that stem from police behavior during the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020.

Denver paid more than $2.3 million to settle lawsuits against the police department during the past three months. According to the police, more cases are pending. In a January email, Jacqlin Davis, public information officer for the City Attorney's office, said, "There are currently 12 (Black Lives Matter)-protest-related lawsuits pending with the city, with several including numerous plaintiffs."

Millions paid out for alleged brutality

Since 2004, the city has paid about $32.2 million to settle police lawsuits. In January, the council approved $1.275 million in settlements during a single meeting.

On March 25, a federal jury awarded $14 million in damages to 12 victims in a Denver police brutality case.

The police department says it plans to learn from its mistakes. "These circumstances were extraordinary, and extraordinary events can reveal potential gaps or opportunities for improvement in policies, practices, training, and procedures," Denver Police Public Information Officer Doug Schepman said via email.

DOTI lawsuit also settled

The city's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure frequently settles lawsuits. The council approved a lawsuit settlement for $8,500 Monday. In that case, Estella Jaramillo-Vasquez and Karina Jaramillo-Vasquez sued the transportation department and Ricky Rogers. Details of the settlement were unavailable.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career at local newspapers. Today, I report on Denver and Aurora city halls for NewsBreak. Prior to joining NewsBreak, I worked several years as a health reporter and branded content writer in the healthcare space. I also worked many years as a news editor and city editor. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver.

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