Headlines June 2, 2020

Headlines June 2, 2020

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Denver Monday night for a peaceful memorial and march, the 5th night of actions in the city in response to the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

Quincy Shannon who addressed the crowd at Civic Center Park told KGNU that the momentum created by the protests needs to sustain to create real change when it comes to policing in Colorado.

“We need cultural competency within the police department, we need to make sure that if an officer is reacting to a call in a certain area, that they have the level of competency to understand if I’m going into a Hispanic/Latino neighborhood, what are some of the values that they hold so that I’m not breaking those values,” he said.

Denver City Council may call for an investigation into the police department’s use-of-force tactics during protests in Denver.

The Denverite reports that Councilman Paul Kashmann, who heads the council committee that oversees the city’s Department of Safety, said he’s spoken with colleagues about an investigation after videos circulated online and on social media that show police using tear gas and pepper balls on the crowds.

150 complaints were made to the Office of the Independent Monitor over police activity during the protests. The OIM is the civilian-led agency that oversees investigations into excessive force cases.

This afternoon State Representative Leslie Herod will announce legislation to tackle police brutality. Representative Herod, a Democrat from Denver, and Senate President Leroy Garcia, a Democrat from Pueblo, will announce the introduction of a bill to increase police transparency and accountability in Colorado.

They are expected to announce the legislation at 4pm at the state capitol, accompanied by family members of people who have died at the hands of police.

The city of Denver announced today that people who do not have coronavirus symptoms but feel they may have been exposed to the virus can get a free test at the Pepsi Center parking lot.

Previously only people with symptoms of COVID-19 were eligible for a test.

Now, anyone who believes they might be exposed and those headed back to workspaces can get free testing. Anyone contacted by state or local public health agencies due to contact tracing are encouraged to get tested.

The Boulder County Fair is the latest event to be canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers announced today that the event which had been scheduled to run from July 31 to Aug 9 at the fairgrounds in Longmont.

The event has been rescheduled to next year and will run July 30 through August 8th, 2021. Fair organizers said on their website that The Boulder County Fair will continue virtually and possibly have some 4-H & youth livestock modified events on the fairgrounds.


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    Headlines June 2, 2020 KGNU News

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Thousands of people gathered in downtown Denver last night for a peaceful memorial and march, the 5th night of actions in the city in response to the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

Denver’s police chief Paul Pazen walked arm-in-arm protesters Monday during the peaceful march.

Before the march, he told the crowd at Civic Center Park that “We will stand with you and we will walk with you.”

The police chief said earlier in the day that the department will investigate all allegations of force against peaceful protestors.

The Denver Post reports that eyewitnesses says peaceful protesters and observers got hit with foam bullets and pepper balls at demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Pazen also said there would also be an internal investigation into a photo on Instagram that appeared Monday with a photo of three Denver police officers in riot gear with the caption “Let’s start a riot.” The post appeared in the account of a Denver police officer.

A group of press advocacy organizations yesterday wrote a letter to local and state officials decrying the use of police force against journalists who say they were targeted by police in Denver over the weekend.

The group which includes the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, the Colorado Press Association, and the Colorado Broadcasters Association sent a letter to leaders of the Denver Department of Public Safety, the Denver Police Department, the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado National

Guard and to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Gov. Jared Polis.

The letter said the groups were profoundly concerned over reports from several journalists that law enforcement agents have specifically targeted them while they’ve covered the protests in Denver.

Some of the incidents cited include:

A Denver post photojournalist reported being struck twice Thursday night with pepper balls that cut his arm and shattered the press credential hanging around his neck. The journalist said a Denver police officer fired two pepper balls directly at him.

A Denver7 reporter wrote on Twitter that a station photographer was hit four times by “paint balls” fired by police on Friday.

On Saturday, a reporter for Denverite wrote on Twitter: “Cops shoved me after I showed them my press credentials and forced me to inhale choking gas.”

Several other examples were given in the letter which concluded with a call for the Denver Department of Public Safety, the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado National Guard to thoroughly investigate the allegations, and, if confirmed, to hold the peace officers involved accountable.

There is a nationwide music blackout and social media pause that is taking place today to recognize the killing of George Floyd and systemic racism and violence targeting people of color.  KGNU will join this action which will include 8:46 minutes of silence at 12PM today.


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