DENVER (CBS4)– Denver School Board’s Tay Anderson claims he was knocked to the ground during a protest outside a homeless camp cleanup on Wednesday. The cleanup happened at Lincoln Park near the state Capitol.
Days after the City of Denver said Colorado State Patrol troopers were allowed to clear state property of the homeless camps, a joint team with the troopers, homeless advocates and the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment cleaned out the camp at Lincoln Park.
— Jacqueline Quynh (@jquynhreports) July 29, 2020
Gov. Jared Polis said last week he would like to see the homeless moved from around the state Capitol.
As word of the camp cleanup spread, activists and homeless advocates headed to the park. That’s when trouble started.
A group was being pushed out of the park, past the fence that had been set up. The crowd of homeless and protesters wanted to go back in. That’s when police were asked to intervene.
CBS4 witnessed Denver police officers ask the crowd of as many as 30 to move. They refused.
During the pushing and shoving seen on video, Anderson claims that he was hurt. CBS4 talked to him as he left the scene holding his head and crying. A medic at the scene gave him an ice pack. He was seen getting into a private vehicle.
According to a tweet sent from his account, Anderson was admitted to the hospital. He tweeted that his “body hurts all over” but that he will “be okay.”
My body hurts all over … I will be okay! STILL I RISE pic.twitter.com/lZl7u25uqG
— Tay Anderson (@TayAndersonCO) July 29, 2020
The Denver Police Department released video from a HALO camera in the area. It shows how tensions boiled over in a matter of seconds.
Anderson has taken a public activist stance in Denver, often participating in recent protests in downtown Denver calling for police reform and the renaming of Stapleton.
Later on Wednesday afternoon, Executive Director of the Denver Dept. of Public Safety Murphy Robinson, expressed sympathy for Anderson.
“I’m sorry this happened to you, I’m sorry that you fell,” Robinson said, adding that the incident is under investigation.
Robinson also said the camp located near Morey Middle School is next on the list for cleanup, although when that is scheduled has not been announced, only that it will happen “soon.”
During a news conference Wednesday evening, Anderson said he was disappointed in the response from Robinson and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
“I want the City and County of Denver to understand, you gave me a traumatic head injury by shoving my head into the ground and then denying it and saying that I fell,” said Anderson.
Anderson said he supports defunding the police and also called on Hancock to step down.
“Let me just be clear, City of Denver you f***ed with the wrong person,” said Anderson.
CBS4 has reached out to Hancock’s office for comment.