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Mayor Hancock and Chief of Police Respond to Thursday’s Protests

City & County of Denver asks public to protest peacefully, safely in the coming days

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen addressed the media and public this morning regarding the unrest that occurred during Thursday’s protests in Denver.

“Like many in our community, I am outraged by the senseless murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. His life matters and Denver has joined the chorus of those across the country demanding justice and consequences for his death,” Mayor Hancock said. “We should protest loudly and make our voices heard, but we must not turn on one another, and we must not turn on our community. The violence that occurred last night is unacceptable and has only drowned out the cause people are standing up for.”

With additional protests planned over the next several days, Mayor Hancock and Chief Pazen urge residents to protest peacefully and respectfully.

Denver Police made 13 arrests yesterday for incidents involving burglary, criminal mischief, and assault. Three police officers received non-life-threatening injuries and are recovering. Denver Police also is working to locate the driver of a vehicle that hit a pedestrian during the protest.

“Denver Police values the sanctity of all human life and we are committed to respecting the dignity, safety, and civil rights of our community,” added Chief Pazen. “It is our responsibility to keep Denver safe for all – all residents, all demonstrators, and all police officers.”

DPD prioritizes de-escalation when responding to any incident. In 2017, the department and city engaged the Denver community in creating a use-of-force policy, which was adopted in the DPD Operations Manual.

Considering the unrest that occurred downtown near civic buildings last night, and the potential for similar challenges later this afternoon and evening, the city closed its downtown government offices at 2 p.m. today so employees who are not working from home can avoid situations that might compromise their personal safety. Residents can still access city services and information at www.denvergov.org or by calling 311.

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