Public officials are reacting to protests over the death of George Floyd in downtown Denver that turned violent after someone fired shots near the Colorado Capitol. Here’s what they had to say:
Gov. Jared Polis
“Tonight is a very sad night for our state. While we are still uncovering all of the facts about what took place, a protest regarding the killing of George Floyd devolved into vandalism and violence, and I was absolutely shocked by video evidence of a motorist attempting to run over a protestor. Coloradans are better than this. I share the immense anguish we all feel about the unjust murder of George Floyd. But let me be clear, senseless violence will never be healed by more violence.
“These are extremely difficult times for our state, country, and world. Now more than ever we need to lift each other up and do right by each other. I ask everyone to make their voice heard peacefully and to turn their anger into advocacy and action — never violence.”
State Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver
“This evening, I joined protesters outside the Capitol in support of George Floyd who was murdered by the police in Minnesota. Shots were fired into the peaceful protest. We will continue to make our voices heard and demand justice for Black communities. We will not be deterred by this unspeakable act of violence.”
Mayor Michael Hancock
“Like all of you, I am outraged at the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. His life matters and Denver has joined the chorus of those across the country demanding change and reform and consequences. And yes, we will protest loudly and make our voices heard.
“We must not turn on one another. We must stand united. The men and women of the @DenverPoliceDept. are not the enemy. For the last three months as we have weathered the storm of this terrible pandemic, they have put their lives at great risk protecting all of us.
“The road to recovery is before us, and all of us – black, Latino, Asian, white – all of us must recover together. That doesn’t mean we stand silent when injustice occurs – whether in Minneapolis or in Georgia or in our nation’s capital. We do not stand silent.
“We move, we act, and with respect, we create change – together. More than ever, we need to all pull together, because we can remake this world together, guided by equity and tolerance and justice.”
Murphy Robinson, Denver executive director of public safety
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of George Floyd. I am outraged by the actions of the officers who caused his death and I stand in solidarity with all who are demanding justice.
However, I urge those who are protesting in Denver this evening to march in peace. Violence only feeds violence and at its worst, it has the potential to harm innocent people.
The Department of Public Safety stands alongside our residents to ensure our staff act appropriately enforcing the laws of our city. My expectations as the Director is that we hold our staff to the highest standards and under my leadership, nothing less will be tolerated.
I urge everyone in Denver, both residents and officers, to treat each other with the respect they deserve.”
County Sheriffs of Colorado and Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police
“Our organizations are appalled by the indefensible use of force and lack of intervention by other officers on the scene that led to George Floyd’s death. These officers must be held legally accountable for their actions, and inactions, that were inconsistent with any legitimate training and procedures of our profession. Incidents like this undermine efforts of law enforcement everywhere to build community trust with those we have sworn to serve and protect.”