DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is talking about the controversy touched off when protesters poured red paint over the Denver Police Fallen Officers Memorial last weekend while police officers stood by and watched.
“I can’t tell you how infuriated I was when I heard what they did,” said Hancock.
Hancock expressed his frustration over the acts of the protesters and also expressed his approval over the police response to not intervene.
“The objects were to keep the bystanders safe, keep the police officers safe and arrest those who actually perpetrated this crime, this despicable, disrespectful act and we were able to accomplish all three of those,” said Hancock.
It was the latest in a series of national and local incidents that have pitted the police against the public including the shooting death of a 17-year-old girl at the hands of Denver Police officers. Officers claim the teen was driving a stolen car and sped toward officers.
The family of Jessie Hernandez is calling for a federal investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death. The campaign now includes an entire community who want the truth.
“I had a conversation with Jessie’s father… I left, leaving him with the commitment that there would be a fair investigation, full investigation into what happened,” said Hancock.
Hancock said he understands what some minority citizens feel when they encounter white police officers.
“As an African-American male growing up in Denver, I mean, I’ve been pulled over by cops. There’s a great deal of fear, trepidation that goes through, probably a little more intense than if I was white, but yeah… I mean, I’ve had it,” said Hancock.
When asked how to get past the divide between the Denver Police Department and the minority communities, Hancock replied, “I think officers can go a long way in understanding what an African-American male might be thinking as he, if he’s a white officer, is approaching this African-American male.”