Fires were ignited, property was destroyed, and businesses were damaged when riots broke out in Denver on Saturday night. Police officers were targeted with fireworks, a cop was reportedly injured after a bicycle was thrown at him, and a family-owned business was trashed by vandals.
A Reddit post shows that a “Give Em Hell” protest was scheduled for Saturday night, which demanded that the Denver Police Department be abolished, according to KDVR-TV. The post instructed demonstrators to “bring your gear.”
Another group planned demonstrations aimed at defunding the police, ending homeless sweeps, stopping racism, and demanding justice for Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died in police custody in Colorado. The group said it was “there for vandalism and were done with peaceful protesting,” according to The Denver Post.
A van dispensed shields to protesters. Rioters attempted to rip down a fence protecting the state Capitol building on Saturday night.
KMGH-TV reporter Adi Guajardo and KUSA-TV reporter Marc Sallinger were covering the protests that escalated into destruction throughout the night. Vandals who were “mostly dressed in black” set fires to trees and the Denver Police Department station, burned American flags, broke windows of local businesses, and shot fireworks at police officers. A Denver police officer was injured after a man threw a bicycle at the cop while riding on a motorcycle. The perpetrator was arrested. Denver Police say nine people were arrested on Saturday.
A downtown Denver Quiznos sandwich shop, which has been family-owned for 12 years, was damaged from the rioting.
All the members of the family were cleaning up, and the owner said he had “never seen anything like this.” The owner told Sallinger, “I don’t even know where to start.”
The ravaged Quiznos fast food restaurant was boarded up on Sunday morning.
Also on Saturday, left-wing and right-wing protesters clashed in Portland. The groups, which included Proud Boys and Antifa, fought each other with batons, shields, pepper spray, and paintball guns. Portland Police declared an “unlawful assembly” and Department of Homeland Security officials were called in.