Denver police spill protesters' blood (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Denver police took their best shot at dismantling the OWS camp over the weekend. To disperse the crowd they used tear gas, batons, and rubber bullets, which are considered to be a “safe deterrent.”
But the pictures and videos that have been published all over the Internet prove the contrary.
Photo of rubber bullet wounds from police shooting 21-year-old at Occupy Denver (Image from occupydenver.org)
A video of the action shows a group of officers using their batons to push the protesters back. Images of police making a direct strike at the face of one of the protesters have been held up as an example of excessive force being used by officers.
A protester flashes the peace sign at the DPD advancement (Image from occupydenver.org)
And the pictures of the wounds and marks that have been left by rubber bullets clearly show how dangerous these “safe weapons” can be in such a close confrontation. Although there are no reports of critical injuries among the protesters, some had to receive medical help at the scene.
An officer pointing a weapon at a photographer (Image from occupydenver.org)
The police arrested some 20 people some of whom were reportedly taken to hospital where doctors patched them up before sending them on to detention.
The confrontation came hours after a standoff between activists and the authorities near the steps of the Colorado Capitol. While the police were trying to push activists back from the Capitol building, a group of protesters marched to the local Civic Center Park in order to set up camp there.
The authorities had earlier allowed activists to put out some tables with food and to use sleeping bags in the Civic Center, but erecting tents was strictly prohibited. Protesters were ordered to clear the site of the offending tents and when they refused to do so, riot police moved in to force them to leave.
The standoff erupted into a clash as a group of protesters pushed forward to surround officers, the Denver Post reported. Denver police confirmed that eight officers participated in a fight that started after several officers were kicked by angry protesters.
Eyewitnesses accused police of using brutal force and fabricating evidence against activists.
“We showed up kind of ready for it, but when [police] came up totally armed to the teeth and ready for war, so to speak, they moved very quick,” recalls activist Mitch Shenassa.
“One protestor was shot for climbing a tree. As we found out later they used pepper balls, as they call it – sort of paint balls filled with chemical burn agent, not just rubber balls,” the activist claims, saying he also has seen videos of a policeman driving on a motorbike into a crowd, causing a man be hospitalized with a wounded leg.