Headlines May 29, 2020
Hundreds of people gathered at the state capitol in Denver today for a second round of protests against police violence in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
Denver school board member Tay Anderson led protestors in a chant of “Shame on You” from the capitol steps.
In anticipation of today’s protests, RTD had canceled all bus and light rail routes for downtown.
The police appeared to keep a much lower profile at today’s protest. Last night police in riot gear shot tear gas and pepper balls into crowds in downtown Denver.
Speaking this morning Denver Mayor Michael Hancock praised the police’s response to last night’s protest, and commended their restraint.
“I can tell you that I watched just about every minute of the protests yesterday from video feed and I watched as the officers responded, they showed tremendous restraint, they showed tremendous discipline,” he said.
Mayor Hancock said that police did not show up in riot gear last night, but they changed into it some people started throwing rocks at them.
The police chief said 13 arrests were made last night, people being charged with burglary and assault.
Denver Police Chief Pazan said today that police are still working to identify the driver of an SUV that drove into a protestor last night in Denver on Thursday night.
A video posted to Twitter shows a black SUV driving with at least one person on the hood of the car. The man was thrown off the car and the driver then appeared to swerve towards him, nearly running him over, before speeding away down Broadway.
Mayor Hancock encouraged safe and peaceful protest this afternoon.
“We are still in the era of coronavirus, if you’re demonstrating, we strongly encourage you to demonstrate peacefully and remind you that the order of face coverings is still in effect, and remind you that you are strongly encouraged, for your own protection, to maintain 6 feet distance from each other and to do it peacefully. And let not your actions become the story, let’s remind ourselves to keep the life that was lost, George Floyd, at the forefront of our marching,” he said.
A socially distancing Justice for George Floyd Protest is planned for downtown Boulder this evening from 6 to 7pm at Broadway and Canyon.
Police fired tear gas and pepper balls at protestors in downtown Denver Thursday night. People had gathered as part of a nationwide movement calling for an end to police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The Denverite reports that about 1000 people began a peaceful march through downtown holding signs like Black Lives Matter and I Can’t Breathe. A small group splintered off and blocked traffic. Later protestors were met with police officers who wore helmets and wielded pepperball guns.
A small group of protestors crossed I- 25 and stopped traffic on the highway. While the vast majority of protestors were peaceful, a small group is accused of smashing cars in the parking lot of the state capitol. At one point a black SUV, which had turned left onto Broadway, ran over a protester. The Denverite reports that police are investigating.
More demonstrations are planned for Friday at noon at the state capitol in Denver.
Most of the 250 National Guard troops staffing some of Denver’s homeless shelters will pull out of their posts Monday, leaving already understaffed nonprofits and the city to fill the gap.
The Denver Post reports that the city has tried to provide more space in their shelters to curb the spread of the virus but 341 people that are homeless have tested positive for COVID-19, six have died.
The city and partnering nonprofits, like the Denver Rescue Mission, are hiring staff to step in for the National Guard once they leave. They are looking for more people every day, especially volunteers who can work meal shifts.
Two months ago Gov. Jared Polis ordered the troops to staff existing homeless shelters. This allowed City officials and nonprofits in Denver to shift their workers from the existing shelters to the new group shelters at the National Western Complex’s Hall of Education and the Denver Coliseum.
The first cases of the virus hit the homeless population at the end of March. The homeless population makes up about half a percent of Denver’s population but accounts for nearly 7% of the city’s overall COVID-19 cases.