DENVER (KDVR) – Three people were arrested Wednesday night in Denver during protests in response to the lack of charges against police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death.
Taylor was killed in Louisville, Kentucky by officers executing a search warrant in March.
Nationwide protests occurred Wednesday after prosecutors said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, a Black woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend. The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.
In Denver, protesters took to the streets beginning around 6 p.m. The protests remained largely peaceful, but around 9 p.m. a driver did hit one protester while driving through a crowd in the street near the State Capitol.
That driver stopped nearby at Colfax Avenue and Broadway and was detained, but has been released and is not facing charges at this time, Denver police announced Thursday.
“Having looked at the video, it appears as though they certainly inadvertently turned into an area where protestors were. They pulled over so they wouldn’t run anyone over, then got surrounded. It appears as though they were frightened and took the opportunity to escape when it was provided to them,” Division Chief Ron Thomas said, adding, “In the event you someone is blocking you or surrounding you, our advice is to stay in the car, lock your doors, do not engage demonstrators. If you truly feel threatened, call 911 if there is an avenue of escape that is provided to you… back away from that situation.”
Mayor Michael Hancock said, “Apparently the driver panicked and felt threatened and panicked and try to get out of the scene. It did not look good on video and I certainly understand that, but we have to wait for all the details to be made public before pass judgement.”
The mayor offered the following advice to people on both sides:
“Try to divert and get away, move on from the situation before you find yourself in the thick of the protest. But I think the admonishment goes both ways. We have to make allowances for drivers who may not be aware of something up ahead and find themselves in the middle of a protest. I think protestors have to also be willing to create a safe passage for someone to get out of there in a safe manner.”
Three people involved in the protests were arrested throughout the night.
One of those arrested, 52-year-old Allan Cutler, is charged with obstruction of a street. Two others, 34-year-old Joseph Miller and 27-year-old Coy Jones, are being held for investigation of large capacity magazines prohibited.