DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver Director of Safety Murphy Robinson and Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen provided insight and made statements to the people involved in Saturday night’s incident at the Denver Police Department and the surrounding area.
“Last night was a riot in our city,” Hancock said. The demonstration became destructive when people threw fireworks at police, lit fires in the street, broke windows and sprayed graffiti on property.
“The anarchists that showed up last night brought weapons to the table. They had guns,” Denver Public Safety Director, Murphy Robinson said. “They brought explosives, axes, machetes, and had one intent purpose and that was to harm our officers.”
Hancock said in a Tweet following the news conference:
Working for change in our democracy comes from peaceful protest and the ballot box. Inciting violence and vandalism is not about making change, it is about anarchy, chaos and mindless destruction. We will not tolerate it in the City of Denver.
Unfortunately, there is a toxic combination of organized efforts on the extreme left and organized efforts on the extreme right to exploit this time when our recovery as a country requires collaboration and cooperation.
What happened in Denver and across many other cities last night was not protest in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. or John Lewis, and it does not reflect who we are as a community.
I am encouraging every elected official in our city – legislators, city council, school board and our clergy and civic leaders – to make clear in statements today that anarchy and vandalism dressed up as a protest will not be tolerated in Denver.Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock
The Reddit post for the demonstration is called ‘Give Em Hell’ and stated the purpose was to demand to defund the police.
“Now I want to speak to you as a Black man and a Denver native,” Robinson said. “Stop using the color of my skin as an excuse to tear up my city. These countless acts are not helpful. They do not represent what Black Lives are about.”