As Denver7’s Ryan Osborne reports, the Aurora City Council is holding an emergency meeting this evening to respond to growing controversy over the aggressive response by the Aurora Police Department to a peaceful protest held Saturday afternoon and evening seeking justice for Elijah McClain:
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman called a special city council meeting for Tuesday to hear from police about their response to Saturday’s protests over the death of Elijah McClain.
“We are hearing many questions and concerns from the community about the tactics used by the Aurora Police Department during Saturday’s protests, and council needs to hear first-hand specifically what happened,” Coffman said in a statement. “The tragic death of Elijah McClain brought out many peaceful people over the weekend who want their voices heard, and unfortunately there were disruptions that overshadowed the broader message.”
…Naomi McClain, who is Elijah McClain’s sister, said she felt like police, at one point, were “just trying to shut us down from continuing our protest” after the department declared an unlawful assembly.
Aurora city councilman Juan Marcano, an advocate for police reform, attended the protests to observe. Marcano said he had been briefed with the rest of the council before the protests that officers intended to remain relatively hidden unless protestors began destroying property.
“It was just really surreal to see basically a pop-up orchestra concert get displaced by a line of riot cops,” Marcano said. “It’s not something I want to see in my city.” [Pols emphasis]
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Some protestors say Aurora police used too much force during what they described as a peaceful protest. The statements came on a day when the Aurora Police Department released new information about the weapons used to disperse crowds on Saturday evening…
Aurora police tweeted out that they announced they’d be deploying the crowd-dispersing tactics after allegedly seeing some people carrying rocks and sticks.
But the protestors FOX31 spoke with say they were never violent. [Pols emphasis]
While peaceful protests filled the streets around the Aurora Municipal Center on Saturday and shut down nearby I-225, Ex-GOP Congressman now Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman spent the entire day according to Facebook riding around with the fire department on unrelated calls. Coffman’s choice to visit all 16 Aurora fire stations in one day instead of monitoring the massive protest right outside his office strikes us as a very questionable decision, especially since Aurora currently has an interim police chief while the search for a permanent chief goes on. It all adds up to failed leadership, or at least it plausibly can.
Who takes the fall when the cops charge batons-out into a violin recital?
At some level, that would be the mayor.