Update below: How to describe a rally against alleged police brutality and misbehavior in Baltimore and beyond that was staged yesterday evening at the Denver jail and Civic Center Park, followed by a march on the 16th Street Mall?
Depends on who's doing the describing.
The Denver Police Department is touting its professionalism in the face of a violent invective, including a sign that reportedly announced, "The Only Good Cop Is a Dead Cop."
In contrast, protesters claim abusive actions on the part of law enforcement that disrupted what would otherwise have been a peaceful protest.
What's undeniable are the number of people taken into custody amid the demonstration: a total of eleven arrests.
The first DPD tweet about the demonstration went out at about 6:15 p.m.:
POLICE PROTESTORS gathering at Denver City Jail.— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) April 30, 2015
Subsequent police tweets acknowledged the first of the arrests, as well as the use of pepper spray.
There were also selective DPD retweets about officers' restraint from media members such as Fox31's Mark Meredith....
Police officers have remained calm and silent as the crowd continues to shout profanities - very angry crowd pic.twitter.com/loobOu77Ir— Mark Meredith (@markpmeredith) April 30, 2015
...as well as the station's Angel Andres....
...and Daryl Orr:
There was also this DPD retweet, presumably intended to provide a flavor of the language being used by protesters:
The assorted actions were summed up like so:
UPDATE: DPD arrested a total of 11 people related to the protest tonight. 8 males and 3 females, all adults— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) April 30, 2015
Protesters and their supporters tell a different tale.
This video, posted by YouTube user Jonathan Cunningham, is summarized like so: "Dixon chokes a woman and headbutts me."
Another account about the protest was posted on the Occupy Denver Facebook page. It reads:
friends, there is a lot to say about tonight's brutality from the Denver Police Department. we were pepper sprayed en masse, violently hit and shoved around, almost run over by cop motorcycles, while some of my dearest comrades and friends were violently tackled and bloodied and kidnapped by DPD. 11 arrests tonight, some facing serious felony charges. we need to get everyone out of jail as soon as possible and support them and to do that, we need to raise money for bail.
even skipping one cup of coffee to donate $5 helps tremendously and means the world. please consider donating what you can.
This narrative is followed by a link to the Denver Anarchist Black Cross Fundly page. At this writing, donations have topped $1,900 toward a $2,000 goal.
There's a wide gulf between these disparate versions of what went down in Denver last night. But no matter whether demonstrators or police deserve the lion's share of the blame for the escalating situation, one thing's clear: Tensions between law enforcement and a significant portion of the citizenry continue to rise.
Update: Since the publication of this post, we've received another video from the scene, this one showing protesters staggering away from police shouting "Pepper spray!" See it below, followed by another participant video and a 7News wrap-up.
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