Denver Police Attack Protest Against Police Burtality
6th April, 2014 – Anonymous Police Brutality Protest
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Denver 4/5—Police in Denver violently attacked a protest march against police brutality on the Downtown 16th street mall a few minutes after it began at 5:30 pm. 6 arrests took place, with police violently tackling individuals in the crowd and spraying pepper spray at protesters and bystanders. A witness said that several of those arrested were passers-by who were not involved in the protest. This protest, called by the informal net-based group known as “Anonymous,” was part of the “Every 5th” event series, in which protesters have gathered downtown on the 5th of every month to protest various issues since November 5, 2013. This particular march was planned in solidarity with protests over a recent police murder of a homeless man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with an eye to similar ongoing police brutality issues in Denver.
“The Albuquerque Police Department has come under federal scrutiny for being involved in 37 shootings since 2010, 23 of them fatal. “ (source) http://www.democracynow.org/2014/4/1/the_bounty_police_force_albuquerque_officers
One participant said: “There were about 50 of us at the march. We peacefully marched from Civic Center Park to the 16th st mall, our usual march route. As soon as we turned off the mall, police officers violently tackled individuals, swung clubs at others, and sprayed clouds of pepper spray at the crowd. They then formed a line and took out rubber bullet guns, and continued to try to antagonize the crowd. The crowd grew larger as pedestrians became alarmed by the aggressive behavior of the Denver Police Department. There were also numerous military-style vehicles present with SWAT officers riding on the outside. This seems to be a deliberately intimidating response in which DPD is trying to send a strong message to the citizens of their city that the police will not tolerate people speaking out against police brutality. Despite the police violence, our march continued successfully for several hours, snaking through city streets, denouncing police brutality with chants and fliers. This sort of behavior by the police really only serves to promote our protest, and as we saw today, it actually encourages people to join us.”
UPDATE: All 6 who were wrongfully arrested have plead not guilty and have been released on bond/PR and reported back the following:
Police kept insisting the protestors’ water bottles in their backpacks were “molotov cocktails” even after smelling the water. Repeatedly.
They were taken to what appeared to be a mass arrest area that had been set up in advance. There was a table piled with sandwiches and frosted cupcakes. When asked by one of the protesters if the cupcakes had been made especially for the occasion. A cop responded “Yes, there are cupcakes. And they aren’t for you!”
One Denver Sheriff was heard bragging in the jail to another sheriff about how he had just said to one of the cuffed arrestees “I can beat the shit out of you and won’t even lose my job. Nothing will happen to me.”
Multiple photos of direct police interaction during the protest were deleted off of one of the arrestee’s cameras
When one bystander tried to ask a question about the protest, he was called homophobic and sexist slurs by the police as he was being arrested.
Regardless of arguments about reforming the police versus abolishing them altogether one thing the protesters are in agreement about is that DPD acts like a gang of terrorists who aren’t accountable in any way to the people they purport to “Protect and Serve.
Videos of some of the arrests: