Coloradans Join In National Police Protest Vigils

Credit: KCNC
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Hundreds of Coloradans stood in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. Thursday night.

In Denver, 200 demonstrators held a silent vigil in Denver for people who died at the hands of police.

The gathering was held Thursday in a park across from the State Capitol and was part of a National Moment of Silence.

In Colorado Springs, about 70 people gathered on the steps of City Hall for a "solidarity rally."

The vigils were prompted by the shooting death of an 18-year-old man by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of a New York City man caused by a police officer's chokehold.

Attendees said that what happened in Missouri, what happened in New York--could happen in Colorado too.

“Even though it is happening in Missouri, it is happening to all of us. We cannot ignore what is happening in Missouri,” one demonstrator told sister station KCNC.

"Injustice anywhere, in Ferguson, Mo.--which is 841 miles from where we stand--or right here in Colorado Springs, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," regional NAACP president told the crowd.

In both Denver and Colorado Springs, people held signs saying "Stop Police Brutality" and "Hands Up Don't Shoot," a reference to witness accounts describing Brown as having his hands in the air as he was shot. At the Springs rally, demonstrators posed for a picture to be sent to "friends in Ferguson," our partners at The Gazette reported.

Denver rally leader Kenny Wiley told KCNC that the problem wan't that all police are bad--"there are good people in every department"--but
that many law enforcement operate within a existing societal system of racism and inequality that can lead to unjust profiling.

"Black people and people of color are seen as criminal before they do anything,” Wiley said.

Seventy miles away, Mark Vincent in Colorado Springs echoed Wiley's sentiments.

"How many times has this story been told?" he told The Gazette.

People of all races and ethnicities stood together Thursday night.

“What got me to do this is that people kept asking where their white friends were when bad things happened,” an attendee told KCNC. “We have to get involved.”