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Case Name Cruz v. Denver PN-CO-0005
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-01922 ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Police Violence Protests (Spring/Summer 2020)
Case Summary
This class-action lawsuit was filed on July 1, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The suit came in response to police tactics used to quell protests in Denver that followed the police killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. Plaintiffs, seven private individuals, were ... read more >
This class-action lawsuit was filed on July 1, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The suit came in response to police tactics used to quell protests in Denver that followed the police killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. Plaintiffs, seven private individuals, were represented by private counsel and brought this suit against the city and county of Denver, as well as 10 anonymous officers of Denver Police Department (called Does 1-10). The class-action suit established two separate, putative classes: the Arrest Class, made up of those who were arrested in the protests, and the Direct Force Class, composed of protesters who suffered injuries from police using weapons.

The suit alleged that on May 28, 2020 the Denver Police used weapons like tear gas, flashbang grenades, pepper spray, pepper balls, and rubber bullets on peaceful protesters. According to the complaint, these actions violated the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The First Amendment count claimed that the defendants' actions violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of Free Speech and Freedom to Petition. They also argued that the city's curfew itself was unlawfully executed because it only applied to protesters and not to non-protesters. The Fourth Amendment count argued that the defendants' actions in arresting and firing weapons at protesters constituted unreasonable search and seizure and excessive force. Finally, the Fourteenth Amendment count claimed that defendants violated the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. Specifically, the Direct Force Class was denied Due Process when the police fired weapons at them "indiscriminately" and the Arrest Class was denied Due Process and Equal Protection when the police arrested them for violation of curfew, according to the complaint. Plaintiffs sought class certification, declaratory relief, injunctive relief prohibiting defendants from further violations, and general and punitive damages. They also sought attorney's fees and costs.

The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty.

A week later, plaintiffs submitted a notice of related cases, citing two cases with common facts and claims and with at least one party in common: Abay v. Denver and Black Lives Matter 5280.

On July 17, the case was reassigned to Judge Lewis T. Babcock, since not all parties consented to jurisdiction of the magistrate judge. Then on July 28, the case was reassigned to Judge R. Brooke Jackson, consistent with the reassignment in Abay.

The case is ongoing as of August 4, 2020.

Jack Hibbard - 07/17/2020
Jack Hibbard - 08/04/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pepper/OC spray
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) City and County of Denver
Plaintiff Description Seven individual plaintiffs
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 07/17/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-CO-0004 : Black Lives Matter 5280 v. City and County of Denver (D. Colo.)
PN-CO-0003 : Abay v. Denver (D. Colo.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:20-cv-1922 (D. Colo.)
PN-CO-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-CO-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Thompson, Tara Elizabeth (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0005-9000
Twetten, Daniel Moore (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0005-0001 | PN-CO-0005-9000
Wang, Elizabeth C. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0005-0001 | PN-CO-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cooperstein, David Charles (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-CO-0005-9000

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