The head of the Denver police union is calling for the chief of police’s resignation after he says officers were told to stand down on Saturday as protesters poured red paint on a memorial for cops killed in the line of duty.
The desecration occurred during a demonstration against police brutality held outside of department headquarters.
As officers looked on, vandals poured red paint and sprayed graffiti on the memorial, on which the names of dozens of fallen officers are etched in stone.
“There’s no reason to allow someone to desecrate a memorial,” Denver police union president Nick Rogers told Denver’s CBS-4. “There’s no reason to allow that to happen. It’s wrong.”
DAMAGE TO POLICE MEMORIAL TO FALLEN OFFICERS pic.twitter.com/uKY24fKrVS
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) February 14, 2015
“We have a breaking point, and we are there.”
Hundreds of demonstrators rallied across Denver to protest police brutality, including the police-involved shooting death of 17-year-old Jesse Hernandez. Two officers claim that Hernandez was driving towards them in a stolen vehicle in an alley when they opened fire on her.
While the Denver police department would not respond directly to Rogers’ statement, Denver police commander Matt Murray said that it is protocol for officers not to interfere with citizen protests.
“Our posture in protests, especially First Amendment protests, is not to engage or to create a situation that might create conflict,” Murray said, according to 9 News. “We believe that it’s better for the community not to have conflict that rises to the level of police lines and shouting, and so we allowed the protests to continue.”
But that’s not good enough for Rogers who says he plans to rally the city’s cops to force the mayor to fire police chief Robert C. White over the vandalized memorial.
“I will ask all 1,400 police officers to rally and we will respond to the mayor’s office in unison to hand him a letter asking for the chief’s resignation,” Rogers said.
The two men responsible for pouring the paint on the stone memorial were arrested and charged with criminal mischief.
— Anarcho Anon (@AnarchoAnon) February 15, 2015