Police union: Protesters cheered when officers hit by car

DENVER – The Denver police union says protestors marching against the Ferguson grand jury decision cheered and chanted "hit him again" after four officers were hit by a runaway car.

Several other police sources tell 9NEWS crime and justice reporter Anastasiya Bolton that there is evidence as well as DPD witnesses to the fact that some students cheered after the officers were struck.

The Denver Police Protective Association condemned the cheering in a statement released Thursday.

"These actions are not only reprehensible but quite possibly the most disturbing thing this Association has ever heard," it read, in part.

The police union and police sources did not specify how many protesters they believed were involved.

East High School students walked out of class Wednesday to protest the decision not to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.

RELATED: East High School students walk out in Ferguson protest

Denver Police allowed the march to proceed down Colfax, blocking traffic at intersections to keep the student protesters safe.

A driver, who police say had a medical issue behind the wheel, struck four officers on bicycles. The most seriously injured, Officer John Adsit, underwent hours of surgery Wednesday and remains in critical condition.

RELATED: DPD officers injured, 1 critically, at Ferguson protest

DPD said Thursday it cannot independently confirm claims that students cheered after the officers were struck.

"If in fact there were inappropriate actions taken by a few students, Chief White does not believe this reflects the opinions of the vast majority of protesters from East High School," DPD said in a written statement.

East senior Ivy Lindstrom said she didn't hear fellow protesters cheering the officers' injuries but would not be surprised if a small number of outliers did something inappropriate.

"There are always a couple of agitators in the crowd," Lindstrom said. "When the story came out that protesters cheered, it upset me because it puts the people who protested down and makes us look like uneducated youth, when in fact we were very respectful and were very troubled when the officers were hit."

Six students who organized the walkout met with Adsit's family Thursday. The group gave the family cards students had made, along with flowers.

On Wednesday night, 9NEWS asked a Denver Public Schools spokesperson to comment on reports of some students cheering the officers' injuries.

Denver Public Schools released the following statement:

We have no knowledge of the alleged comments. We would deplore any such comments and will look into the allegation, and would welcome any evidence that would assist us in an investigation. All afternoon yesterday and all day today, students at East expressed their deep concern for Officer Adsit and his family and their appreciation for the police assistance in ensuring student safety during the march. In a very moving moment, student leaders at East today presented Denver Police Chief Robert White with flowers to give on their behalf to the officer and his family. We are deeply grateful for the work of our police force in keeping our students safe over the past two days, and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Adsit in hopes of a full recovery. We have conveyed very strongly to our students the importance of all our students conducting themselves in a respectful and thoughtful manner and are examining certain instances over the last two days where our students did not do so.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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