Bloody fights broke out Sunday in Denver when anti-police protesters organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation stormed into an annual pro-police rally.
Ron MacLachlan,founder of the pro-police rally, spoke with CBS4 with a bandage wrapped around his head and a cut on his face. “Some guy hit me with a skateboard or something else across the face and another guy came down on top of me with something,” MacLachlan said.
“There’s nothing peaceful about these people, they come down scream, get in your face. The amount of fights that they start is ridiculous,” MacLachlan said.
The anti-police protesters greatly outnumbered the pro-police crowd, and moved into their rally’s space in the park’s amphitheater shortly after the demonstration supporting law enforcement started around 3 p.m.
The protesters banged drums, blew whistles, clanged pots, clapped and shouted obscenities to drown out the pro-police rally, where a band had been playing music to a small crowd. Law enforcement officers attempted to form a line around the two groups, but could not completely separate them, the Denver Post reports.
Lillian House, an organizer for the Party of Socialism and Liberation, said they planned the counter-protest because a celebration of police is “unacceptable.”
Adina Chapman said she came to the Denver rally from Colorado Springs to support law enforcement. “I’m not saying there doesn’t need to be reforms,” she said. “But if we don’t have police, we don’t have safety.”
Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli reacted to the “Outrageous violence” seen in Denver Sunday, tweeting “These tyrannical, left-wing anarchists hate free speech. If you do not agree with them, they believe you must be beaten down – literally,” Fox News reports.
In response to the criticism against law enforcement, Pro Police Rally Colorado founder Ron MacLachlan said his group is not against police reform or Black Lives Matter advocating for racial justice but made a distinction that “We've got to stand with our men and women in law enforcement. Without them, we are in chaos and anarchy."