Protesters question police tactics used in Aurora weekend demonstration


AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Some protestors say Aurora police used too much force during what they described as a peaceful protest. The statements came on a day when the Aurora Police Department released new information about the weapons used to disperse crowds on Saturday evening.

FOX31 was given permission to show some tense moments as officers clashed with protestors demanding justice for Elijah McClain.

The video shows officers holding large batons. A spray can is also visible. Its contents were used on protesters. At one point, the video shows an officer swinging what appears to be a baton.

Evan Bates shot the video. He says a female protestor was linked arm-in-arm when she got hit.

Bates described the video saying, “So she’s kind of getting trapped. Her arms are forward and she’s leaning backwards. She physically can’t move and the cop just takes the baton to her face.”

FOX31 was given another piece of video by Adam Trujillo.

Trujillo captured video in which one can hear officers telling protestors to “move back.”

A few seconds later, some of the protestors are sprayed by the officers.

Trujillo said he and others around him were peacefully protesting when this happened.

There was also a violin vigil taking place nearby during which some protestors said there were problems too.

On Monday, the Aurora Police Department said it had used pepper spray, 40mm foam rounds and smoke bombs, which did not contain chemicals.

Aurora police tweeted out that they announced they’d be deploying the crowd-dispersing tactics after allegedly seeing some people carrying rocks and sticks.

But the protestors FOX31 spoke with say they were never violent.

Video was also released of some of the officers’ body cameras as they say they tried to protect peaceful protestors and the police department building.

At one point, it shows a fence being knocked down and items being hurled at officers.

APD Interim Chief Wilson said her officers used force only after some people she described as agitators began to throw objects.

Wilson also said the great majority of the people present Saturday peacefully protested.

Wilson said at times, her officers escorted marchers onto streets and even Interstate 225.

The mayor of Aurora has scheduled a special City Council meeting for Tuesday evening to discuss how police handled the weekend protests.

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