GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Several hundred people came out Monday night to tell Greenwood Village they will not stand for its resolution pulling away from Colorado’s new police accountability law.
“We’re not going to let this decision by Greenwood Village bring us down, we’re not done yet,” said Apryl Alexander of Black Lives Matter 5280. She was one of the speakers as the crowd listened to music and then marched as the City Council met for a work session only feet away inside city hall. The issue was not on their agenda this night. But it was on the minds of the protestors and the musicians who gathered outside.READ MORE: Colorado Researchers Discover Hint Of Scorching-Hot Planet Orbiting Vega
PHOTO GALLERY: Greenwood Village Police Accountability Protest
“I know it’s a lot, you’re tired, but please continue to show up until this epidemic is over,” musician Nathaniel Rateliff of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats told the crowd. Rateliff led an effort by some of Colorado’s best known musicians to say they will not play at the venue Fiddler’s Green in Greenwood Village until the city pulls back on its resolution in opposition to the State of Colorado’s new police accountability law. The Lumineers and the Flobots were also present.
Greenwood Village passed a resolution early this month to indemnify its officers against civil litigation. The municipality says it will cover the first $25,000 of civil liability after Colorado’s new police accountability law allowed for more civil liability against officers.
“Other municipalities may have a different cultures, training and problems that we do not face. We will not judge the efforts of other cities to do what they believe best for their citizens,” Greenwood Village officials said in a statement, “But based on our workforce, our training and our culture, we do not believe that the potential financial penalties of our police officers in Greenwood Village will make any measurable difference in whether they will act in a professional or criminal way. However, the principle behind such penalties can destroy the will of our officers to serve the people that they have sworn to protect. We have sworn to protect our citizens from harm from those who would do them ill. It would not be in the public interest to create a system that contributes to the loss of good officers or diminish the ability to attract the best candidates to do a very necessary and dangerous job.”READ MORE: Wheat Ridge-Based Travel Company To Refund More Than $800,000 For Trips Canceled At Beginning Of Pandemic
It makes Greenwood Village the first city in Colorado to move officially against the new law.
Musicians responded by saying they will not play at Fiddler’s Green, which is owed by a nonprofit organization. Its concerts are promoted by AEG Live.
Rateliff said, “Equality is a much bigger issue than me becoming successful or anything. People’s lives are at stake.”
State Rep. Leslie Herod, who represents Denver and helped organize the protest, said “You got to go with what works you know and they’re not going to listen to the protestors or the people, they probably listen to the effect on their pocketbook.”MORE NEWS: 'Women In Their Infinite Forms': Exhibit By 11 Local Artists On Display At Denver Milk Market
The protestors wearing masks gathered to listen to music, then marched, chanting “Black lives matter,” through the streets of Greenwood Village and back. It was peaceful and police kept their distance. But economic pressure may yet be coming. While Fiddler’s Green has no shows now due to the coronavirus, musicians say they won’t be back unless the city changes its views. “I won’t got to a concert and I won’t play Fiddler’s Green until that’s changed,” said the Lumineers’ Wesley Schultz.