1 year ago: protests in downtown Denver lead to change

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — It’s been one year since downtown Denver became ground zero in the push for racial justice reform in Colorado with daytime peaceful protests and nighttime riots.

They were sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and helped spur calls for change nationwide.

“It’s been a process and it continues to be a process itself,” said Nate Smith, who led many of the protests and marches during the day. “And everyone is starting to learn and realize what’s been going on for centuries.”

And that’s racism, racial injustice and police brutality, said Smith, who’s a mixed martial arts fighter.

Now, he’s fighting these wrongs, along with his opponents.

“There has been some progress, but there’s still more progress to go forward,” Smith said.

He and others want more reform to the criminal justice system and want law enforcement to continue to be held accountable.

They are glad that less than a month after the protests, Colorado created a sweeping police accountability law.

They are glad that less than a month after the protests, Colorado created a sweeping police accountability law.

“None of these laws down here are made for just one person,” said Autumn Brooks, who helped push for police reform at the Capitol. “They’re made for a community. If it doesn’t work for the community then there needs to be a change.”

Now, the legislature is debating updating the law by making officers turn on body-worn cameras more often and reduce using force.

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