Denver mayor pleads with protesters: Don’t let vandalism become the story

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DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said on Friday that he is glad there’s been an arrest in the death of George Floyd and believes the Minneapolis police officers involved need to be held accountable.

Hancock also said that Thursday night’s protest outside the state Capitol, which ended with vandalism and tear gas, is not the way to honor the memory of Floyd.

“Do it peacefully and don’t let your actions become a story. Let’s remind ourselves to keep the life that was lost, George Floyd, at the forefront of our marching,” said Hancock, who insisted vandalism and violence would not be tolerated if protests continue.

Police are still trying to identify who fired gunshots near the Capitol just after 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Windows at the Capitol were smashed and windshields of a few cars were damaged as well.

Officers later used tear gas after a few protestors became violent.

“The tipping point on this was officers was having rocks hurled at them. We have an officer that was hit in the head with a rock,” said Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen, who added the officer was treated and released from a local hospital.

That officer was one of three injured during the demonstrations.

Police made 13 arrests related to burglary, criminal mischief and assault.

Pazen said if demonstrations continue his goal will be for officers to remains hands-off as much as possible.

“Going hands-on with folks can actually create more of a danger for both our community members and the public,” he said.

Both Pazen and Hancock repeatedly asked demonstrators to keep their protests peaceful.

“Let’s remind ourselves that as a community we still battle this disease of hatred of racism and its going to be us that has to stay united and get through it and not allow the actions of a few to become the story,” said Hancock.

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