Denver, CO – About 30 people marched to District Attorney Beth McCann’s office on September 12 to demand the indictment of the police officers involved in the July 17 shooting in downtown Denver. The coalition, led by the Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee (DACAC), also demanded that charges against Jordan Waddy, a 21-year-old Black man and one of the victims of the shooting, be dropped; an investigation independent of the police department to be conducted; the end of Denver Police Department’s participation in the Pentagon 1033 Program; and community control of the police.
The event began at the Colorado State Capitol with folks gathering to make signs saying things like “Black lives matter” and “Money for housing, not police.” People discussed the recent police mass shooting in Denver. The rally started at 4 p.m. with a welcome and chants, “Cops and Klan go hand in hand!” No justice no peace!” and “Hands up don’t shoot!” as folks marched down Colfax Avenue to DA McCann’s office.
The crowd heard speeches from the different groups in the coalition as well as the families of police crimes victims. Ivette Mendez is the sister of Alexis Mendez-Perez, a 16-year-old Chicano who was shot and killed as he fled from off-duty Colorado corrections officer Desmond Manning on April 23, 2020. While Manning was fired from the Colorado Department of Corrections, criminal charges were never filed against him, and the Mendez family was forced to file a wrongful death lawsuit in 2020 in search of some kind of accountability.
Police officers perpetrated the July 17 shooting of Jordan Waddy on the corner of 20th and Larimer as people were exiting a bar late at night. According to Denver Police Department, Waddy pointed a gun at an officer, but bodycam footage contradicts this narrative, showing that Waddy threw his gun on the ground and put his hands up. Police fired into the crowd anyway, injuring seven, including Waddy, who continued to hold his hands up even after being shot. Despite being the victim in this scenario, Waddy was charged by DA McCann with three counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and one count of third-degree assault. DPD is using these charges to justify their mass shooting.
As DACAC chair, Jonce Palmer, notes, “T is no perfect victim, and DPD is trying to use Waddy as a scapegoat to claim the shooting was necessary. There is no time where it is necessary to shoot bystanders in a crowd. DPD are the ones who escalated the situation.”
The coalition was joined by Denver Students for a Democratic Society, Colorado Young Communist League, We The People 303, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
DACAC, which is working for community control of police, will continue organizing for the DPD mass shooters in uniform to be held accountable for their racist attack.
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