A quick roundup on a story that has dominated national headlines since Monday evening and resulted in two consecutive days now of protests in Denver, Colorado Springs, and elsewhere–CNN:
Like Ferguson, outrage over the grand jury's decision escalated from coast to coast, with protests in about 170 cities nationwide.
From New York to Los Angeles and dozens and dozens of cities in between, protesters flooded the streets to denounce the grand jury's decision. Some demonstrations blocked bridges, tunnels and major highways. But the protests were largely peaceful.
"They have given us no justice! We will give them no peace," protesters chanted as they massed in front of the Underground Atlanta shopping mall.
In the New York area, they briefly blocked one of the entrances to the Lincoln Tunnel.
As the Denver Post's Anthony Cotton reports, protests yesterday evening downtown almost got out of hand, with a handful of protesters arrested, but overall stayed peaceful and law-abiding:
Besides the Brown protest, there were banners decrying the July shooting death of Ryan Ronquillo. And after an hour of marching, the protesters ended up at the front doors of the Denver jail, where they repeatedly shouted, "Marvin Booker, Marvin Booker," recalling the inmate who died at the facility in 2010…
Although there were no obvious signs of discord, things did get a bit tense when three armed sheriff's deputies, perhaps disquieted by the size of the gathering, stood on alert just inside the front doors of the jail.
Organizers had planned for the march to conclude at the jail, but a large group continued the protest, moving west on West Colfax Avenue and blocking the viaduct over Interstate 25…[p]olice formed a line to prevent protesters from moving onto the interstate about 8:10 p.m.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports a robust protest there Tuesday:
Hundreds of protesters, chanting "Hands up, don't shoot" and "Whose streets? Our streets," marched through downtown Colorado Springs on Tuesday, demanding police reform after a grand jury opted not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot a black teen in Ferguson, Mo…
Clutching a megaphone while blocking Cascade Avenue, Trina Reynolds-Tyler, a Colorado College senior, read a list of demands from FergusonAction.com, which has often helped support protests in Missouri.
Among the demands: Police departments nationwide need to stop using military equipment and weaponry and a U.S. Department of Justice review on racially biased policing across the nation. She said money going to law enforcement needs to be redirected toward community-based alternatives to incarceration.
Other events around the state related to the protests over the police shooting of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown included an apropos forum on race relations in Boulder and a protest in Pueblo organized by the Colorado Progressive Coalition. Also fueling debate locally over police violence and race relations is a new report from Rocky Mountain PBS I-News highlighting racial disparity in Denver police shootings:
At a time when the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, has brought tensions between police and minority communities to the forefront, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has found that racial disparities persist in police shootings in Denver.
Seven of the 33 people shot by Denver police and sheriff’s deputies in the past five years were African American, according to data collected by the Office of the Independent Monitor, a city watchdog. That’s about 21 percent, compared with an overall black population in Denver of 9.7 percent during roughly the same period, according to Census data.
Thirteen of those shot between 2009 and 2013 were Latino, and 12 were white. That means about 39 percent of the shootings involved Latinos, who comprise 32 percent of the population, while 36 percent involved whites, who account for 52 percent of the population.
Whether we like it or not, this is an issue that we need to be talking about in Colorado. So, please do.