DENVER (CBS4)– Corporal Janessa Smith works in District 6, the epicenter of Denver’s Protests. She was on duty the first few nights of protests when the violence broke out.
“It’s been very stressful… mainly it hurts me because of the senseless violence and destruction of our city. It hurts me you know,” she told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
Two of Smith’s fellow officers were hit by a car during the protests. She says the long hours and violence have taken a toll, not only physically but mentally.
“Having all these individuals yelling at you, cursing you, calling you names, wishing death upon you, not knowing who you truly are. Not knowing the real person you are inside and how much you love your community,” said Smith.
CBS4 asked Smith about the accusations that her department has been using excessive force against protesters. She said the department is listening to the community and is ever-changing.
“To be the best officer out here on the street is to know the rules of the game, and in order to know the rules of the game you have to understand our policies and procedures our laws, and that comes from changes.”
CBS4 caught up Smith before another Friday night shift. She hopes the weekend stays peaceful in the city she loves.
“Know that we’re on your side. We want to be here for you, we care about you guys, and we’re going to be here.”