It was night #2, post- the Ferguson-no-indictment decision, and things flared up in Denver.
The evening started with some speeches in front of the Capitol and then a march downtown, where activists and sympathizers for Michael Brown, his family and all of Ferguson, Missouri, tried to keep their vigil candles lit in fierce winds. The group eventually worked its way to the Denver Detention Center where in 2010 black street preacher Marvin Booker was killed at the hands of sheriffs deputies. Like police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, none of the Denver deputies was prosecuted. Although a federal jury handed down an unprecedented $4.6 million award to Booker’s family last month, criminal justice watchdogs are unsatisfied, saying Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration’s ardent defense of Booker’s death and a string of subsequent excessive force cases indicate that Denver’s second black mayor “doesn’t get it.”
“We’re out here to say to the city, the state, Ferguson and the world, ‘Wake up! Black people have been targeted too long by people in uniform,’” a hooded activist identifying himself only as “Itch,” told The Independent by phone as a gaggle of protestors chanted “Marvin Booker! Marvin Booker!”
Hancock’s administration had been beseeched by black clergy not to incite violence after the Ferguson decision by allowing police to show up in riot gear. Officers practiced restraint Monday night when the crowds were lighter. But on Tuesday, by the time protestors had marched toward I-25 with the intention of blocking it, members of a police line corralled them from marching onto the highway. Most dispersed without provocation. Some were pepper-sprayed by police. And at least three demonstrators — more by some accounts — were arrested.
[These photos of Tuesday’s demonstrations and police response were taken by DAM (Direct Autonomous Media), a collective aiming to make uncensored information about criminal and social justice available to the public.]