Chef’s Tragic Encounter:
Denver Agrees to $2.3 Million Settlement:
Jax Feldmann, a 24-year-old aspiring chef, faced a life-altering incident on May 30, 2020, as he walked home from a friend’s house.
While passing through a Black Lives Matter protest following George Floyd’s killing, Feldmann was struck in the face by a stray rubber bullet fired by a Denver police officer.
The projectile, identified as a pepper ball containing a chemical irritant similar to pepper spray, left Feldmann permanently blind in his left eye.
Details of the Incident:
Feldmann recounted the moment when he was hit, describing a police truck with two officers standing on its side.
Despite the severity of the injury, he highlighted that no police officers came to his aid.
Instead, community members in the neighborhood rushed to his side, moving him and his friend into a doorway to facilitate an ambulance call.
Life-Changing Injuries and Emotional Impact:
Expressing the profound impact of the incident, Feldmann emphasized the life-changing nature of losing an organ he had planned to have throughout his life.
The emotional toll of the injury and the subsequent challenges were evident in his reflections on the unjust loss.
City’s Substantial Payouts and Lack of Prosecution:
Denver, in agreement with Feldmann, has now paid over $20 million in damages related to the 2020 protests.
This includes substantial amounts to Black Lives Matter protesters, injured individuals, and settlements.
Notably, the city has spent nearly $2 million on external law firms for legal defense.
Despite these payouts, no police officers have faced prosecution for shooting Feldmann.
Legal Challenges and Officer’s Resignation:
Birk Baumgartner, Feldmann’s attorney, identified Officer Diego Archuleta as the one who fired the pepper ball.
However, an inconclusive investigation by Denver police failed to lead to prosecution.
Archuleta, who faced discipline for other actions during the protests, resigned on January 6, 2022, and later pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted strangulation.
Comments on Justice and Compensation:
The settlement reflects Denver’s acknowledgment of the tragic consequences faced by Jax Feldmann during the 2020 protests.
While the financial compensation cannot reverse the physical and emotional toll, it underscores the city’s responsibility and commitment to addressing the impact of police actions during a time of heightened social unrest.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn