(CBS4) – Friday night in Denver turned violent after a full day of peaceful protesting by people mourning the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
“Last night I had tears in my eyes looking at the destruction,” said Denver civil Rights leader Alvertis Simmons.
Tay Anderson, a leader in Black Lives Matter Denver, agrees saying, “Man I’m disappointed.” He told people Friday to remain peaceful. He says some people with a different agenda didn’t care. As a result, many of the Black Lives Matter protesters paid the price. He says women and children got unintentionally caught up in the fracas.
“No one should have unintentionally gassed or rubber bullet shot,” he said.
Anderson says those rioters hijacked a peaceful protest and silenced black voices.
“It’s heartbreaking, disgusting but it’s also just something that I’m furious about,” he said.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Alvertis Simmons.
“You cannot have a black movement with 100 white people in front of it saying Black Lives Matter and then they go and destroy the community! No, no, no, no, no. Black folks understand that that was a black man that died, and we care about whites and we want them to come, but we don’t want them to hijack this event,” said Simmons.
Both leaders say this movement is about peace and justice and dismantling racism in America. They do not want people destroying the city in the name of black people.
“Bring your love and bring your heart and bring any form of humanity that you have,” said Simmons.
Anderson says, “If you’re not going to adhere to the demands of the black community, those that are impacted, then this is not the protest for you.” He adds, “Now we’re the people who have to face the unintended consequences.”