July 20th Denver, CO – Members of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Denver locked down in front of the Denver Police Headquarter Administration Building to protest police violence and in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Four SURJ members locked themselves arm to arm in front of the doors under a banner that read “Under Construction Until Black Lives Matter”.
SURJ also shared a list of demands, delivered earlier this year by Black Lives Matter 5280, through a petition on change.org.
Mayor Hancock, Chief White, and Manager of Safety Stephanie O’Malley, your Denver community and Showing Up for Racial Justice – Denver demand:
- Publish a written letter supporting demographic data collection of all policing stops and interactions in our city, signed personally by Police Chief White, Director O’Malley, and Mayor Hancock
- Track demographics of individuals contacted, stopped, arrested, injured, and killed by police, and make this information accessible to the public on a frequent and regular basis
2) Stop the Sweeps
- DPD/ DSD has the power to deprioritize and refuse the enforcement of laws that criminalize homelessness. We ask that you publicly declare an immediate halt on all sweeps of the homeless population of our city with a pledge to create a sustainable solution that does not involve criminalization
- Use your power and influence in the City of Denver to repeal the Urban Camping Ban
3) Divest, Demilitarize, Reinvest
- Divest $12M of Mayor Hancock’s $24M investment in DSD “reforms.” Instead of militarization against and criminalization of our communities, the DPD/ DSD should surrender military-grade weaponry in favor of community building reinvestments.
- Use your power and influence, from each of your uniquely powerful positions in the City of Denver, to reinvest $12M in community support systems:
-Double the current $8M investment in affordable housing in our rapidly gentrifying city
-Double public mental health support funding to reduce the criminalization of people with mental illness
The four locked down protesters were arrested and have since been released on bond.
A SURJ Denver Facebook post with photos of the event that had over 100,000 views was removed from the platform with no explanation.
The Denver Police administration building has been a site of conflict in the past with paint vandalizing the Denver fallen police officers monument two years in a row on Valentine’s Day.
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