By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
Josiah M. Hesse interviewed Amelia Nicol by phone on June 6, when she was still in solitary confinement, being held for — among other things — the attempted murder of two police officers during the May 6 March Against Police Terror. Since then, most of the felony charges have ben dropped, and Nicol is now out on bail. She will return to court for an arraignment later this month.
JH: Tell me a little bit about your life before you moved to Denver.
AN: I grew up in Grand County, up in the mountains; I started living in Denver last February. My grandfather, unfortunately, had made his fortune in natural gas and slaughtering cattle. But we grew up relatively poor because my mom was the black sheep of the family and didn't get any money. I've been rebelling against that for a long time.
JH: Were you involved in any political marches before the March Against Police Terror?
AN: No, not before that. I'd gone to the 420 [Marijuana] Rally, but I just sat in the park and lit dollar bills on fire. And then after that, I didn't really do much until this rally.
JH: How did you hear about it?
AN: A bunch of my friends were going to it; they mentioned to it to me a few weeks before, and I was definitely interested. I've always been very political...or, I guess I can't say political, but I've always been very interested in where the world is heading. [The March] sounded right up my alley, so I gathered up some more friends and we all headed down together.
JH: How had the march been going before you were arrested?
AN: It really surprised me. We were being completely peaceful — we were shouting, of course — but it was just amazing to me that we were being peaceful and they had police officers just lining the streets. Before the march even started! I was like, "If that's not indicative of the problem, I don't know what is."
JH: Did it seem like they were antagonizing you, looking to start something?
AN: Not really. But there was one that grabbed me when I was walking down the street and then pushed me back into line. But it was nothing like...well, of course, they were being a bit antagonizing because we were telling them to fuck off. They had this huge circle all the way around us; we were just this small group of people demonstrating against the hatefulness of their rule. And here they were showing how tyrant-like they are.
JH: I know this is still an open case and you probably don't want to incriminate yourself, but can you — to the extent that you are willing or able — tell me what happened during your arrest?
AN: I'm being charged with throwing a firework. I was running away and I heard the firework go off. I was running down an alley and I heard [the police] yell behind me, "Mohawk! Mohawk!" There was a [police] car parked at the end of the alley, and I was like, "Oh, fuck." So I turned and there was this huge fucker, like over six feet, came up and shoved me in the chest. I landed flat on my back and scraped my elbows really bad. He picked me up and put me onto my stomach — of course I'm shouting at him, "Fuck you!" He picked me up and put me onto the trunk of the car, and he spent a solid — I don't know, it felt like an eternity — putting on riot cuffs. And I still have scars from where they put them on; my wrists were bleeding for days. I was on the trunk of the police car, bent over, there was a cop behind me and a cop beside me, and he picked up my leg at the knee and bent my fucking foot in toward my body — which was pretty fucking painful. I mean, I've never even been in a fistfight before. That was probably the most painful thing I've ever been through in my life. The whole time, I was like "Fuck you, fuck you! Do your worst!" And they definitely did. It was horrible. One of them said to me about five minutes into it, "Smile, you're on camera!" So there's definitely footage of that somewhere. After that, they put the "spit hood" on me because I kept spitting on them. I didn't know what else to do. They were pretty fucking intimidating.
JH: So, even if it was just a firework, you weren't responsible for it? Are you going to plead not guilty?
AN: I'm not sure. I need to figure out a few things first. My family got me a lawyer, but I'm looking to get a different one, because the one they got me is kind of a corporate fuck — he hasn't even called me yet. My mom is working against me on this.
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