DENVER (CBS4) – Two sides diametrically opposed met in an angry confrontation Sunday in Denver’s Civic Center Park. Anti-police protesters organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation stormed into an annual pro-police rally intent on disruption.
As the protesters attempted to take over the stage they were met with resistance. Fist fights broke out. The police backers weren’t giving up their annual tribute so easily.
Ron MacLachlan,founder of the pro-police rally, spoke with CBS4’s Rick Sallinger with a bandage wrapped around his head and a cut on his face.
“Some guy hit me with a skateboard or something else across the face and another guy came down on top of me with something,” MacLachlan said.
Police attempted to create a thicker barrier between the opposing groups.
One unidentified demonstrator told CBS4 “We don’t agree with the police because they behave in a racist manner.”
If there was any hope for a civil discussion, that hope was quickly lost. Some were bloodied in the melee. At least one person taken into custody on an assault charge. At one point police unleashed two pepper balls and smoke. Demonstrators come to the aid of each other to assist in clearing their eyes.
“There’s nothing peaceful about these people, they come down scream, get in your face. The amount of fights that they start is ridiculous,” MacLachlan said.
The protesters from the Party for Socialism and Liberation moved out of the amphitheater, taunting police swat units as they said goodbye to march through the streets of Denver.