Exactly one week later, Occupy Denver faced its first in a long line of evictions, leading to the arrests of 27 protesters, its largest mass round-up to that point. The event played a heavy role in turning internal sentiment against law enforcement, though the two continued to maintain a partnership. Since this night, pepper spray and riot gear have made consistent appearances during altercations.
On October 29, the occupation faced its first investigation for felony assault on a police officer: John Sexton lost his job as a result of the charge, which has since been commuted to interference and resisting. Photos of Sexton placed in a chokehold by a police officer circulated the Internet and became evidence in a federal hearing. At the time, Sexton told us, "I remember I'm on the ground with my face in the grass and all I can see out of my side vision is boots, so many boots. From there, I was put into a chokehold for a while before I was handcuffed and taken to the paddy wagon. A lot of people became upset in response to me being arrested."
November: Nineteen arrests took place during a Saturday protest, but the month's greatest change in pace was its prevalence of tickets. At the time, the $750 charge represented the highest bond rate to date, though it's by now taken a backseat to number as high as $50,000. After being ticketed for honking in support of the occupation during those arrests, law student Daniel Garcia told Westword, "I feel like I was harassed unnecessarily." In the same month as his story went viral, six people were ticketed for other municipal violations surrounding Occupy Denver, including pulling over in front of Civic Center Park to drop off food donations.December: Early in the month, news came that Denver police officers created a fake Twitter account with the sole purpose of harassing occupiers. The revelation came during a hearing for an attempted federal injunction to protect Occupy Denver from police intervention with a temporary restraining order. During the same week, text messages between officers were released to the public, labeling the protesters "treehuggers" and calling them "pathetic." Some showed the other side, with one stating, "in the last two days no less than one hundred people, at protest and other places, have screamed obscenities and directed demeaning remarks at me, and i am not allowed to respond in any way. what a great system."
On December 19, protesters set fire to their shelters inside Civic Center Park as police approached to clear them. During their evacuation from the park, a handful shouted obscenities at officers, who shouted them back. Speaking on the issue later, Mayor Michael Hancock cited the event to support his suggestion that the public no longer cares about the protest.Page down to continue reading about relations between police and protesters during six months of Occupy Denver: