Denver pastor says laws need to be changed to end violence


DENVER (KDVR) — It’s a question on many people’s minds: How long will riots continue in Denver?

Some community leaders say the acts of destruction will continue until there is change in the law governing police actions. 

Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance President Bishop Jerry Demmer told FOX31, “When something is broken and you keep breaking it, it’s never going to get fixed.”

Demmer says George Floyd is one of many black people who have unjustly died at the hands of police. 

Demmer does not condone violence. However, he says to stop this urban warfare, laws need to be changed. 

“Every time another black man gets killed, beat, murdered and nine times out of 10 the officer that killed him are acquitted. There is no justice for the black man, there has been very little justice in America,” said Demmer. 

Demmer says police should be held to the same standards every American is when charged in a death.

But it’s unclear if any new legislation will come. 

In the meantime, Reverend and Iliff School of Theology assistant professor of social justice Jennifer Leath says rioting is not the best strategy. 

“We need to be developing new ways of engaging. We cannot just be in the streets. We cannot just be bearing witness to those whose strategies escalate to the point of rioting,” Leath said.

She believes helping defeat racist rants through social media can be more effective than violent clashes and destruction of property. 

“(We need) to change the story of black people as leeches or lazy or criminal or less than human or deserving of little or nothing in terms of resources,” said Leath.

Instead of sound bombs and stun grenades, it’s a sustained chorus of voices online she believes will help win the battle. 

On Monday, the Denver City Council issued a statement in part saying,

“The…Council acknowledges the historic and current systemic issues in regard to police brutality.

“Officers who violate community trust and use inappropriate force must be held accountable within departments and criminally.

“We see you, we hear you and we stand with you as we keep the lives of George Floyd and countless other victims at the forefront of our work to address racism and oppression in our government systems.”

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