Protester facing felony charges calls arrest ‘politically motivated’

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DENVER (KDVR) — Terrance Roberts says he had no idea there was a felony warrant for his arrest until he was arrested at Washington Park on Thursday.

“I was definitely shocked and my initial reaction was, they’re harassing us,” he told FOX31.

Roberts is the co-founder of Frontline Party for Revolutionary Action (FRPA). He and five others were arrested this week in connection to Aurora protests in late June and July, demanding justice for Elijah McClain.

“We still need those officers arrested. We want them charged with murder. Not us — we should not be charged. We did not kidnap anyone. We have not put our hands on a single person,” Roberts said.

As of Friday night, Roberts was the only one who had bonded out.

“This is a politically motivated attack on the Party for Socialism and Liberation and FPRA,” said Roberts. “Right now, these inmates are sitting in the Denver County Jail for crimes they did not commit.”

Lillian House, Joel Northam and Eliza Lucero — all members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation — were also arrested this week, along with Trey Quinn.

They face various charged across Adams and Arapahoe counties, ranging from misdemeanors up to attempt to commit first-degree kidnapping, a class 3 felony.

Marc Sears, president of the Aurora Fraternal Order of Police, says at one protest, 18 Aurora officers were locked inside a substation for seven hours.

“Once it’s all said and done, we slow down and we start looking at all the video footage we have,” said Sears. “It takes time from just a picture to be able to positively identity who these subjects are and who committed these crimes.”

Roberts says he and the other activists facing charges weren’t on the premises when incidents like this occurred over the summer.

“They’re blaming us for inciting a riot, starting a riot — but it’s a riot I was not there for,” he told FOX31.

Roberts says he and other activists helped plan peaceful protests but never encouraged any unlawful acts.

“Not only do we leave early, we leave when we say our events are over. I’ve never advocated for someone to break a window or break anything. I’ve never told anyone in a speech, ‘go hurt someone,’ or ‘go beat a cop.’ I’ve never advocated for anything negative,” he explained.

Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler previously told reporters their actions went beyond peaceful protesting.

“What I do know is that the First Amendment does not protect you from committing crimes. And that’s what’s being alleged here,” said Brauchler.

Another event is planned for Saturday, in part, to protest these most recent arrests.

“We need our charges dropped and we’re still advocating for charges against those officers who killed Elijah McClain. It doesn’t stop. We’re not stopping,” said Roberts.

The protest is scheduled for noon Saturday in front of the Colorado State Capitol building.

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