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Hundreds march in Denver for justice in police mass shooting

By staff

SDS leads march against police mass shooting in Denver.

Denver, CO – About 200 people took to the streets on Thursday, July 21, protesting Denver police officers opening fire into a crowd of people early Sunday morning, injuring seven people. Their demands included the immediate release of the unedited body cam footage, restitution for the victims and community control of police. The event was led by Denver Students for a Democratic Society and supported by groups such as Denver Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Denver Democratic Socialists of America, Young Communist League of Colorado, and the newly formed Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee.

A crowd gathered at the Colorado State Capitol around 6 p.m. Speakers from SDS, DACAC and DSA addressed the crowd, leading chants and laying out their demands. SDSer Keegan Estrella said, “If the police are supposed to work for the community, then it should be obvious that the community should decide how the police works!”

After rallying at the capitol, SDS and their partnered groups marched to the Denver Police Department Precinct 6 on Colfax and Washington. Shoulder to shoulder, about 200 people carrying banners, red flags, and signs demanding justice chanted “No justice! No peace! No racist police!” “DPD kills while on patrol! What do we need? Community control!” and “The people united will never be defeated!” among others.

The march took the street and proceeded eastbound down Colfax towards the District 6 Precinct. Protesters confronted the police standing on the precinct roof, shouting and chanting. Representatives from Young Communist League CL and FRSO gave speeches to the outraged crowd.

As the march was nearing its originally planned end, the crowd made it clear that they were not ready to leave. Organizers agreed to extend the march so the people could continue voicing their anger directly at police. The march carried on to the other side of the precinct to chant at the cops, now standing on the roof. Protesters chanted “Cops, pigs, murderers!” and “Quit your jobs!” before marching back to the capitol.

Seven shot by police in LoDo

At around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 17, DPD officers opened fire into a crowd of people exiting the Lower Downtown bars on the corner of 20th and Larimer Streets. Police allege that Jordan Waddy, a 21-year-old Black man, started an altercation on the street corner. They claim that as Waddy walked away, he ignored their instructions, immediately pulled out a gun, and pointed it at the police. Three officers pulled out their guns and opened fire at Waddy, injuring him and several others in the crowd. Days later, it was confirmed that seven people total were injured in the shooting, including Jordan Waddy.

While DPD has not provided any evidence that Waddy opened fire, they have also withheld and obscured as much information as possible. In a DPD press conference on Wednesday, a spokesperson of the police admitted that seven shots were fired by three DPD officers, and that “the officers are accountable for the rounds that they fire” but was unable to admit that the seven people injured were shot with bullets fired by police. They have not released the full unedited body cam footage as of time of writing.

Victims of the police shooting are looking for answers and have lawyered up to seek justice and restitution from DPD. Victims include Yekalo Weldehiwet, an Ethiopian immigrant who had a bullet lodged into his chest, and Bailey Alexander, who was shot through her shoulder and was found to have bullet fragments in her arm. The DPD interviewed them in the hospital; they found out they were shot by the police later.

On Friday, July 22, Jordan Waddy was charged with three counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and one count of third-degree assault. Police say they found a loaded 10mm handgun at the scene, but at this time there is no evidence that the gun was fired, and they have not provided evidence that the gun was ever in Waddy’s possession. Eyewitness accounts also differ from the police; people at the scene say that Waddy did not point a gun at the police.

#DenverCO #PoliceBrutality #StopPoliceCrimes