DENVER (CBS4) – Downtown residents are bracing for another round of potentially violent rallies.
“Just the noise and then, you know last night, the fire and the popping, fireworks, it’s just overwhelming,” Brenda Pratz said.
She lives near Denver Police Headquarters. Over the last few months, she’s become used to the protests.
“Ya know graffiti I can wash off, or paint,” she described of past damage to her home.
However, the fire she saw near the courthouse Saturday night made her too uncomfortable to come outside.
“I saw 7 to 8 cop cars and I just closed the door.”
Denver officials called the group that showed up around 8 p.m. anarchists.
“The anarchists that showed up last night brought weapons, they had guns, explosives, axes, machetes, they had one intent purpose and that was to harm our officers,” Murphy Robinson, Executive Director of the Denver Public Safety Department said.
Rioters threw fireworks at Denver police officers and started fires. They also smashed a store window in front of police. A total of 13 people were arrested.
Protests against police brutality have been going on for months and some in the community feel not enough has been done to address the issue. It’s unclear at this point who organized this gathering. A flyer online called for people to bring gear. It also said municipal leaders refused to address demands to abolish DPD.
“We know there is a coordinated effort to inflict some of these riotous activities. We saw some of it last night in Chicago and other cities,” Mayor Michael Hancock explained during a news conference about damage.
Hancock vowed to hold suspects accountable, saying the city will do everything possible to stop these violent acts.
“Why’ve you got to start fires?” asked Pratz.
It seems more demonstrations will be likely downtown as Aug. 24 marks the anniversary of Elijah McClain‘s arrest, and that leaves residents like Pratz afraid to leave her home for the near future.