COLORADO SPRINGS — The City of Colorado Springs confirmed Tuesday that a woman who participated in the protests that followed George Floyd’s murder will be compensated with $175,000 settlement.
Celia Palmer accused Colorado Springs Police Officer Keith Wrede of tackling her and slamming her head into the pavement, despite her attempts to comply with law enforcement commands on June 2, 2020 in downtown Colorado Springs. Palmer filed a lawsuit in July of 2021 against the City of Colorado Springs, Police Officer Keith Wrede, and Wesley Woodworth, another CSPD officer.
In the lawsuit, Palmer alleged she “suffered serious consequences, including a traumatic brain injury” in the confrontation between her and officers.
However, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said Tuesday that “no court found any wrongdoing by the officers involved.”
Wrede later grabbed the public’s attention again when it was discovered he wrote “Kill em all,” using a pseudonym, on a Facebook live story. The stream was covering Black Lives Matter protestors as they blocked traffic on I-25.
The comments read: “KILL THEM ALL,” “KILL EM ALL,” and “Solid move BLM way to make your point. I hope you are proud you damn Terrorist”.
According to CSPD, Wrede was disciplined for that incident with one week of unpaid leave.
“His comments were unacceptable, have damaged our relationship with members of our community, and fell short of our standards,” Chief Vince Niski wrote in a statement at the time.
As for Palmer’s settlement, the city went further than a agreement for monetary compensation by agreeing to implement the following policies in its police department by March of this year:
– Dispersal warnings are mandatory, prior to utilizing less lethal tools or force to disperse a crowd.
– Prior to using force, an officer shall identify himself or herself as a peace officer. The officer shall give a clear verbal warning of their intent to use force. If the warning is related to deadly force, the officer will specifically warn of the impending use of firearms or other deadly physical force, if possible. A warning
must be given with sufficient time for the warning to be observed. The officer is not required to give this warning when doing so would unduly place officers at risk of injury and/or would create a risk of death or injury to other persons. When a warning cannot be given in a situation where force is used, the officer will
document the reasons why in the case report.
In explaining the reasoning behind choosing a settlement over fighting the lawsuit in court, Mayor Suthers said, ““The City of Colorado Springs chose to settle this case in the interests of its taxpayers. The cost of litigation is a consideration in making settlement decisions.”
To Suthers’ point, the settlement also acknowledged the following:
“It is expressly understood and agreed that the acceptance of the above-mentioned
consideration is in full accord and satisfaction of disputed claims and is not to be construed in any
way as an admission of liability on the part of the City, but, to the contrary, the City specifically
asserts that no wrongdoing, misconduct, or liability on account of the Incident or any matters
related or incidental thereto, or otherwise, occurred or was established in a court of law, and it is
further understood and agreed that all agreements and understandings between the Parties are
embodied and expressed herein and that the terms of this Agreement are contractual and not mere
Palmer’s lawyer, Andrew McNulty, sent a copy of the final settlement to area news outlets on Tuesday.
Palmer and Suthers signed the settlement last month.