Denver activist gets $65K settlement over 2018 unlawful arrest
Denver, CO – The Denver City Council recently approved a $65,000 payment to settle a lawsuit filed by notorious local activist Eric Brandt over a 2018 incident during which he was arrested on trumped-up charges. If you live in the Denver Metro area, you must have seen Brandt during one of his many protest actions against police brutality. Brandt has made a name for himself as being very blunt in expressing his opinions about Denver cops.
He was often seen walking around Denver holding signs with slogans cursing cops. He’d make his way around town on a bicycle decorated with an over-sized faux hand, complete with an extended middle finger, painted with the phrase “F**K COPS.”
His 2018 arrest stems from his liberal use of the F-word. At the time, Brandt was protesting the arrest of two other fellow activists. On September 24, he was walking through the 16th Street Mall when he saw a group of Denver police officers. He started chanting, “No justice? No peace! F**k the Denver police!”
To get back at Brandt, one of the officers approached a passerby and asked her if she’d sign a criminal complaint against Brandt for disturbing the peace. The woman agreed and Brandt was arrested. However, the charges against him were dropped days later.
According to the lawsuit, the police basically fabricated a reason to have Brandt arrested.
“The cops on the mall have been thin-skinned for years,” one of Brandt’s attorneys said. “Their snowflake-ishness just cost taxpayers of Denver $65,000, and if you add up all the settlements over the years, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were over $1 million — because when Denver cops get their feelings hurt, they think they can arrest someone for it.“
At present, Eric Brandt is in jail, on charges a bit more serious than his use of profanities. Last year, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to three felony charges in connection with threatening a Denver judge.
Can you legally swear at a cop in Denver?
Plenty of people may not approve of Brandt’s use of the F-word, but, according to the law, the police cannot arrest someone for swearing at them. The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects free speech, and this includes profanities. The police can only arrest someone if the language they use was meant to incite violence.
If you take part in a protest, you can hold up a sign saying “F**k the police” and this does not give them reason to arrest you. If they do, you should reach out to an experienced Denver police brutality lawyer. However, there is a very thin fine line between free speech and disorderly conduct so you must tread carefully.
If you’re ever involved in a tense encounter with the police, it’s always best to keep calm and refrain from cursing. Also, if there are witnesses to the incident, make sure to get their names. Your Colorado police misconduct lawyers can always use their testimonies as well as any video of the incident they have. Brandt himself has uploaded amateur videos of his encounters with the police who were not wearing body cams at the time.
Your lawyers will file a lawsuit on your behalf, seeking damages even if you were not injured during the incident. Under Colorado law, you can seek damages for the shock and humiliation you suffered during an unpleasant encounter with law enforcement.
If you were recently a victim of any type of police misconduct in Denver, you should contact an experienced civil rights lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm to see how to proceed with your case.
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