Roads closed, capitol vandalized as protests demand justice for George Floyd in Denver

State

DENVER (KDVR) — Protests demanding justice for George Floyd, the man killed by an officer in Minneapolis this week, turned violent in central Denver on Thursday.

Shortly after protesters gathered at the Colorado State Capitol, about 5:35 p.m., at least five shots were fired. Officers at the scene told people to hit the ground.

According to the Denver Police Department, no injuries were reported.

At least two groups of protesters marched through the streets, forcing road closures.

One group traveled south of the Capitol, along Lincoln Street and Broadway.

A separate group was in the Lower Downtown and Union Station areas. Those demonstrators eventually made their way onto Interstate 25, forcing traffic to a standstill near 15th Street about 7:10 p.m.

DPD officers used tear gas to disperse crowds.

In another incident near the Capitol, video from Annabel Escobar showed a man falling from an SUV’s hood before its driver struck him on Broadway.

Protesters damaged two vehicles parked outside the Capitol. One of them is a Colorado State Patrol car.

The Capitol building itself was vandalized with spray paint, and several of its windows were broken.

Later Thursday night, about 8:30 p.m., DPD again used tear gas as well as pepper spray to disperse crowds that had gathered near East Colfax Avenue and Washington Street. Demonstrators had thrown rocks, water bottles and other objects at officers.

Shortly after 9 p.m., police launched gas canisters at protesters. Some canisters were thrown back at officers.

By 10:30 p.m., the situation had calmed but several hundred people and a large police presence remained in the Civic Center area.

About 11 p.m., DPD said most downtown streets had reopened but officers were continuing to monitor smaller groups of protesters.

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