With much of the nation focused on the police abuse protests happening in Baltimore and New York City, the Denver police and their actions against a group of protesters on Wednesday has largely gone unnoticed.
But police were dressed for war. Paramilitary style. And they weren’t going home without using a few cans of pepper spray and filling up a paddy wagon.
Video that surfaced shows a group of about 100 protesters walking the streets of downtown Denver where they were met with line of motorcycle cops who forced the group on to the sidewalk. One overzealous officer can be seen breaking away from the pack chasing down pedestrians, using his motorcycle as a large weapon.
At one point, the motorcycle cop rams a man on a bicycle, who had every right to be riding in the street.
In what appeared to be a peaceful scene of protesters walking with signs and chanting, albeit on the street, turned chaotic after police formed a human barricade, initiating a confrontation. Most protesters complied with orders to get on the sidewalk, but that didn’t stop one police soldier from continually shooting pepper spray into the faces of non-violent people.
According to the Denver Police Department twitter page, eleven adults were arrested in total, eight men and three woman. Two of the arrests were considered felonies, assault on police and robbery. The rest of the arrests were the typical blanket charges that police use to arrest anyone they want, resisting police, disobedience to lawful orders, obstructing roadways, and interference.
One activist was quoted in the Denver post questioning the violent nature of the police force used against the protesters…
“It was peaceful protest until they got into the park,” said Laura Wooldridge, a 49-year-old Denver activist who saw the confrontation take place. “The next thing I knew pepper spray was being sprayed into the audience. It’s loud voices but it’s been loud voices. It’s an aggressive group but it should be an aggressive group because this is unacceptable, it is heinous.”
More protesters can be heard yelling at police that “This is a peaceful protest, no weapons allowed!” most likely referring to assault weapons, pepper ball guns, and the pepper spray canisters being brandished by the police.
Its clear that if left unabated, the protesters would have eventually made it to their destination, the state capitol without any violence, looting, or criminal activity. However the police decided to put on a show and get some undeserved overtime pay.
Americans are used to seeing this type of chaos on TV, usually taking place in an unstable country such as Egypt, or Greece, but a startling trend is developing where military soldiers are becoming indistinguishable from your local police. They are sharing uniforms, vehicles, tactics, etc. It appears the war has made it to our homeland. But who is at war with who?