Police supporters and protesters clash at Denver rally

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DENVER -- A pro-police rally got a little heated Sunday afternoon when protesters tried to disrupt the event.

The second annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day had been scheduled before any of the recent police involved shootings around the country. The event is meant to honor law enforcement.

The event was postponed about 30 minutes because power wasn’t turned on at the Civic Center Park stage. During the downtime, it quickly turned into a shouting match between anti-police protesters and police supporters.

A handful of Occupy Denver members showed up with a large banner that read “Blue Lives Murder." They used a bullhorn to chant anti-police rally cries like “blue lives murder” and “**** the police."

“We don’t want Denver celebrating murderers,” one protester shouted.

The group is upset about recent officer involved shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, and believe police officers do more harm than good.

Many of the rally attendants were offended by their message. A group of women stood in front of the protesters to try to block them. They chanted “We back the blue."

In one of the tensest exchanges, an Occupy Denver member yelled at an older woman who approached the group to tell them she was offended. The man screamed at her to “back off now” and to “march” away.

“I think they’re disrespectful. I think they’re doing a disservice to the police department, especially today after two or three were killed,” said Glenda Haenel, whose son is a deputy in Adams County.

Once the power kicked back on, the rally got into full swing. A band was loud enough to drown out the protesters and the event went on as planned without incident.

“We think [police] are heroes. They’re the ones who come to our aide. They’re the ones who protect the citizens and we’re just here to say ‘Thank You’ to them,” Jim Haenel said.

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