Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman: ‘We have to be able to protect our buildings’

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — From a Jeep speeding into a crowd of protestors on the interstate, to extensive damage at Aurora’s court house, events that transpired following a peaceful protest last night leave many with questions.

FOX31 Problem Solvers are on it bringing those questions to the people in charge.

Shattered glass and windows paint a picture for Aurora’s Mayor Mike Coffman as he tries to piece together what happened Saturday night.

“So, they had all the time of the world to basically take the plywood down, use hammers and use the board fixed to plywood to break these windows,” Mayor Coffman said, surveying the damage with FOX31.

Coffman tells Problem Solvers he plans to ask Interim Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson for a report on what happened. He says he will make this request Monday and ask she give the report to him and city council members. 

“As to what happened, as to why we couldn’t defend the south side of this court house,” he said. 

Officials with Aurora Police department tell Problem Solvers Wilson is out of town and unavailable for an interview. 

They report no arrests were made Saturday night and no less lethal options were used.

“Aurora is not Portland,” Mayor Coffman said, adding “We have to find a balance, but at the end of the day we have to be able to defend our buildings, we have to be able to protect our buildings.”

“I am disappointed and disgusted in Mayor Coffman’s words of caring more about broken windows and a gate than the fact that actual lives were put at risk on highways that went through his city,” Community activist and Denver School Board Member Tay Anderson said. 

Anderson was at the protest Saturday. He says he is more concerned about what led up to the broken glass at the court house.

“I think they are two separate issues,” Mayor Coffman said. “I think the vehicle on I-225 is one issue but the violence here is another issue.”

SkyFOX captured a blue Jeep speeding along the interstate where hundreds were marching in protest for justice for Elijah McClain.

Aurora police say someone in the crowd fired shots as the Jeep came through, hitting two people who have non-life threatening injuries.

Police identified the driver in the Jeep but did not arrest that person Saturday or release their name. 

Officials with the department say just because there was not an arrest Saturday, that does not prevent them from making an arrest in the future. An investigation is still underway.

Both Mayor Coffman and Anderson are left with a major question when reviewing the footage of the Jeep.

“The question is how did the Jeep get through,” Coffman asks, adding “What actions were taken to, in this instance, protect the protestors as we successfully did on June 27th?”

Police officials tell Problem Solvers motorcycles from their traffic unit were in charge of slowing down and stopping interstate traffic. The department is still trying to determine how the Jeep was able to proceed or if it was already ahead of the motor units before they were able to stop traffic.

Another main concern for APD is identifying the shooter from the interstate that injured two people. They are asking anyone that has any descriptions, pictures/videos, or any other information that can help identify the responsible person to share that with Crime Stoppers.

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