BOULDER, Colo. — Boulder police arrested two men Saturday after an incident in which demonstrators rallying against police violence allegedly tried to prevent officers from taking a fellow protester to jail.
The incident happened in the 2700 block of Pearl Street during a planned march against recent police killings of unarmed black males in New York; Ferguson, Mo.; and elsewhere.
Officers confronted one protestor after a motorist claimed that the man had spat on a car, according to the Boulder Police Department. The man was not carrying identification, but did give police his personal information. Officers initially determined that the man had several outstanding warrants against him.
As one officer tried to take the suspect into custody, “dozens of people involved in the planned march blocked the officer from leaving the area,” BPD said in a statement.
Another protestor, identified as 31-year-old Joseph Tolbert, allegedly became combative with police and continued to participate in the effort to keep the arresting officer from leaving, BPD said. At one point, Tolbert allegedly sat on the hood of the patrol car.
Eventually, officers arrested Tolbert, who reportedly continued to fight. He was taken to Boulder County Jail and faces charges of Resisting Arrest and Obstructing a Peace Officer.
It was later determined that the first suspect did not actually have any outstanding warrants against him. BPD described the arrest as a “miscommunication” and released the man without charges.
The Boulder Daily Camera reported that dozens of people flocked to the jail to protest the arrest of the initial suspect, which they viewed as illegitimate.
Suspect Tolbert was released from jail on a personal recognizance bond.