More than a dozen people cited for blocking I-25 in Colorado Springs while protesting
Police announced more people were cited for blocking I-25 as part of a protest
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -
Protesters brought traffic to a halt June 30 after taking their demonstration to the interstate in Colorado Springs.
The group, driving together in roughly a dozen cars, abruptly stopped in the middle of northbound I-25 near the Bijou exit and got out holding signs and placards. One leader had a bullhorn and others were chanting. On Friday, police announced
Officers tell 11 News as they were pulling up to the scene most of the protestors ran. Luckily officers were able to track down two people who were blocking traffic with their cars. The two were pulled over and ticketed. On Friday, police announced 13 people had been cited in the incident.
The demonstration was part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has swept the country in recent weeks.
Springs police shut down northbound I-25 just south of Bijou. A spokesperson for the Colorado Springs Police Department told 11 News officers were intending to arrest the protesters, but the group dispersed before they could. The whole incident lasted a little more than one hour.
A number of drivers unrelated to the protests found themselves stuck behind the makeshift blockade for a short time. Those drivers were eventually able to turn around and leave.
The Colorado Springs police chief issued a statement denouncing the actions of the small group.
The protesters say they are continuing to bring attention to the injustices faced by the black community. Since late May, demonstrators have been protesting a series of deaths of black Americans, often unarmed, at the hands of law enforcement.
“It’s a big thing when a family member has to lay their loved one into the ground,” a man at the interstate demonstration told 11 News.
The most recent incident to garner national attention was the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain of Aurora, who died last summer following an altercation with police officers. A passerby had called 911 on McClain, reporting he was acting odd and wearing a ski mask, while also stating McClain was not armed and had not committed a crime. McClain was put in a chokehold, something that has since been banned by the Aurora Police Department.
Late last month, Gov. Jared Polis directed the state attorney general to investigate the case and, if the facts supported doing so, prosecuting the officers whose actions caused McClain’s death.
“Elijah McClain should be alive today, and we owe it to his family to take this step and elevate the pursuit of justice in his name to a statewide concern,” Polis said on June 25.
A sergeant with the Colorado Springs Police Department told 11 News he believes it’s important for law enforcement to continue this dialogue with the community.
“But we can’t have these conversations when you’re putting lives in danger,” he said of the interstate demonstration.
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