DENVER — On the steps of Civic Center Park Sunday stood two groups with two very different ideas on the impact police have on the community.
As anti-police protesters shouted through loudspeakers, “Cops are your enemies,” said one.
Police supporters yelled back, “They give their life for you,” one yelled.
What was supposed to be a pro police rally quickly turned into a clash between police supporters and anti-cop protesters.
“How can you support law enforcement when she`s assaulting him,” yelled one protester as a police supporter tried to grab a sign she said was offensive. “She’s trying to take an obscene sign away,” a woman said.
Holding American flags and displaying signs like ‘blue lives matter’, supporters say the rally was a show of mutual respect between the public and law enforcement.
“I support the police. They put their lives at risk every day. We would be absolutely lawless without them,” said police supporter, Barbara Fallon.
Protesters holding pictures of people shot and killed by police say now is not the time or place for that show.
“As we watch what’s happening in Ferguson and in Baltimore, the fact is that its happening right here in Denver. We have a police brutality problem in Denver,” said anti-police protester, Eric Verlo who was holding a large sign with the name of a person he says was the victim of police brutality.
“Heaven forbid if any of these people need to call any police officer, sheriff, law enforcement, where would they be,” said Susan Wheeler, a vocal supporter of police.
Turning their backs to protesters supporters gathered on the Civic Center Park stage, drowning out anti-cop chants with their own messages of appreciation.
“In a time of increasing condemnation we owe them a measure of devotion and gratitude to those who continue to walk the heroes’ path,” said a speaker at the rally.
A rally organizer says despite some heated exchanges and tense moments, he’s still happy with the way things turned out, saying you have to start somewhere.
No arrests were made.
Reporting by KDVR