Multiple shots were fired just outside the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, where scores of people expressed their outrage over the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police in Minnesota.
A volley of gunshots was heard as protesters occupied the Capitol grounds on Thursday evening. Footage that surfaced on social media shows people being caught off-guard by what was happening, ducking and rushing towards the building shortly afterwards as police officers tell them to run for safety.
This is the moment gunshots were fired outside the Colorado State Capitol. #Denverpic.twitter.com/4wBtYJVAbM
Gary Cutler, a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol, told local media the gunfire happened just across the street from the Capitol which was then locked down.
Other police officials said the shots were directed at the building but couldn’t be attributed to the protesters who flooded the streets of Denver to decry the brutal arrest and the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of uniformed officers in Minneapolis.
Flashbangs, tear gas, and pepper spray are descending onto the solidarity with #GeorgeFloyd protesters in #Denver outside the #Colorado State Capitol pic.twitter.com/NgFGi7kuc4
State Representative Leslie Herod, who was at the Capitol at the time, wrote on Twitter that the suspect was apprehended but the scene remained “tense.”
Violence was also seen in other areas of Denver. A peaceful march demanding justice over Floyd’s death was disrupted by a black SUV that seemed to deliberately run into a group of protesters. The driver then appears to target one man who had just been on the hood as it was moving, turning to hit him and then driving away in the other direction.
Downtown denver. Some girl turned around to run this guy over #GeorgeFloyd#icantbreathe#downtowndenver#denverpic.twitter.com/eirohGGPr5
Later, police deployed tear gas and flashbangs to disperse protesters who swarmed downtown Denver.
The Denver police sent condolences to Floyd’s family, calling the brutal tactics employed by their Minneapolis colleagues “inexcusable.”
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