Police supporters and police protesters faced off during a pro-police rally at Denver’s downtown Civic Center on Sunday.
Organizers – who were hoping the event would help build a bridge between the public and police – say the march became a rally instead, that turned into a clash of cultures.
The rally, organized by a private citizen, had about 200 supporters that turned out to show support for local police departments. However, “about 50 anti-police protestors had large offensive signs and tried to disrupt the peaceful gathering using bull horns, music, shouts, stomping and tearing up of American flags and video to intimidate supporters gathering for the rally,” according to the Denver Post.
Organizers said in response to the protesters, “This is a prime example of why this event needs to be done.” They did not expect so much opposition. At one point, the opposition chants got so loud that police supporters reportedly had to move into a rotunda, so their guest speakers could be heard.
One State Representative who came to the rally to voice her support for police said, “I’m here today because there seems to be increasing condemnation for those who protect us.”
Supporters held up American flags, and stood their ground among a group of young protesters who were shouting profanities about police. Some of the protesters carried signs with pictures of family members who were shot and killed by Denver police.
There were also those like Todd Nading, who held up a photo of his father, a police officer killed in the line of duty. Nading says, “The reason this country is as good as what it is, is because of our police force and military. It’s upsetting to see so many uneducated people who don’t understand how bad a country can get.”
The co-founder of the Denver Police Museum said he recognizes that there have been some “bad apples” in law enforcement but that a pro-police rally was not the place to voice those concerns.