Injured Denver police officer urges caution, communication ahead of student walkouts

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DENVER -- A retired Denver police officer critically injured during a student protest in 2014 wrote a letter to the Douglas County School District encouraging the administration to communicate with students and law enforcement to ensure everyone stays safe during walkouts planned for Wednesday.

John Adsit was hit by a driver in 2014 when students took to the streets to protest police relations after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Adsit was critically injured and spent a month in the ICU recovering.

In a letter to the district, he said the problem in 2014 was East High School staff left law enforcement in the dark about what to expect.

"The school’s administration facilitated this nonpermitted, chaotic, unorganized, dangerous and life-threatening walkout," he wrote. "Learn from the mistakes made by others that almost cost me my life."

Four students at Rock Canyon High School in Douglas County School District are planning Wednesday protest and said the scene will be much different from 2014.

The organizers said they have been working closely with school administration and the administration has been keeping law enforcement informed about what to expect.

"Don’t worry about it. This is something we have talked extensively about," senior Maria Pangalos said. "Communication has been of paramount importance to us."

The Douglas County School District also said it's been communicating with all four law enforcement agencies that will be present at student walkouts on campuses.

A spokesman for the district also said in a protest last month that students were respectful and believes Wednesday's walkout will be no different.

The Cherry Creek School District also sent out a statement about walkouts its students are planning.

"The Cherry Creek School District does not endorse or host walkouts, nor does the district endorse any particular viewpoint or advocacy group," the district said.

"Our main concern with any potential student walkout is safety. To that end, principals are working with student leaders to create 'safe zones' for students if they choose to participate."

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