DENVER (CBS4) – Dozens of cyclists hit the streets in downtown Denver Sunday morning riding for a cause. Organizers say the ride was a way to honor the life of Elijah McClain, who died one year ago this month after he was taken into custody by Aurora Police.
Gathering in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Statue in Denver’s City park, Stephanie Puello says the turnout is a sign that the protest against police brutality must not end.
“I think there’s the momentum and the yearning to keep pressure on this and continue building awareness and community around these issues,” she said.
Puello is a co-leader of Denver’s Black Girls Do Bike, one of several cycling organizations that organized the solidarity ride.
She says while Elijah McClain is at the top of mind, they are riding in solidarity with all victims of police violence.
“It’s important to me because Black people are dying, and I feel a responsibility to my people because it is the Black community that is disproportionaly impacted,” Puello said.
The ride for many riders, like Jude, was a way to bring two passions together.
“I think being on a bicycle brings a lot more attention, in a town like this brings more visibility and a great way for me to take what I love and send a message,” he said.
That message, a continued call for change.
“Systemic change, I know people get sensitive about defunding the police, but I don’t think it means taking the police away, but instead finding alternatives,” he said.
With nearly 200 riders taking over the streets in downtown Denver, they say they will not go unnoticed.
“We are going to be out here talking about it. You are not going to be able to ignore us whether you agree with us or not,” Puello said.