DENVER (CBS4) – The Party for Socialism and Liberation protested outside the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday at noon. They called for justice for the people arrested in connection to various protests in June and July.
The 17th Judicial District charged five people in connection to alleged crimes during a protest at Aurora Police Department’s District One police station on July 3. Those charges include attempted kidnapping, inciting a riot, engaging in a riot and obstructing government operations.
“They blockaded streets surrounding District One with vehicles and various items from nearby construction sites. They prevented 18 officers inside from leaving the building by barricading entrances and securing doors with wires, ropes, boards, picnic tables and sandbags. Some members of the group carried handguns and rifles and wore military or tactical clothing,” stated District Attorney Dave Young’s office.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Offices filed charges on four people, three of whom were also charged from the 17th Judicial District as stated above. The charges stem from three separate protests on June 27, July 12 and July 25.
Those charges include inciting a riot, engaging in a riot, theft and obstructing a highway.
The protests in June and July were in response to the death of Elijah McClain after an encounter with Aurora police in August of 2019. The officers involved have not been charged with any wrongdoing. The protests were also sparked by an inappropriate photo showing three Aurora police officers re-enacting a carotid hold at the site of the encounter.
Police placed McClain in a carotid hold as paramedics injected him with ketamine. McClain suffered heart complications and was later declared brain dead.
Those organizing the demonstration on Saturday say the charges are “an obvious frame-up aimed at stopping the movement for justice for Elijah McClain.” They say four of those arrested and charged are part of the PSL group.
Hundreds gathered and later marched down the 16th Street Mall to the Denver Police Department headquarters.
Some restaurants closed their doors as the group passed by. It is not clear if businesses decided to close for the day or only as the group marched down the mall.
— Jamie Leary (@JamieALeary) September 19, 2020
The group stopped in front of the Denver Detention Facility where some of the arrested protesters are being held. Several police officers were seen standing outside of the facility.
“We will mount a mass campaign to defeat these phony charges and win their freedom. This attack on the Denver anti-racist movement and the PSL is part of a concerted national assault on the Black Lives Matter movement, an attack driven directly from the White House, from Governor’s mansions, and from local police chiefs and police departments around the country,” organizers stated on social media.