DENVER, Colorado — As the rain picked up downtown Denver Friday night, protesters marching through city streets just chanted louder.
The group had gathered to speak out against the presence of federal forces in cities around the United States.
The protest was scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the Colorado State Capitol building, according to an event posting on Facebook.
After 2 hours of hearing from speakers, the group began marching down Colfax Avenue while chanting “F*** white supremacy, F*** these racists.”
At one point, the group lowered an American flag flying at the federal courthouse in Denver and raised it again upside down.
Follow along with reporter Marc Sallinger, who is at the protest:
President Trump has been sending federal agents to cities including Portland, Oregon and Kansas City, Missouri in recent weeks in response protests that have been taking place since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
So far, federal forces have not been sent to Colorado.
Earlier this week, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock signed onto a letter written by the mayor of Washington D.C. expressing concern about federal forces in cities across the U.S.
It says in part, "Deployment of federal forces in the streets of our communities has not been requested nor is it acceptable ... it is concerning that federal law enforcement is being deployed for political purposes."
Hancock released the following statement about the letter:
"The president’s deployment of federal forces in our cities is wrong, and sets an alarming precedent. Despite the objections of local and state officials, federal agents are now in Portland and other cities. These federal agents are not trained in modern urban community policing, such as de-escalation. They are operating without coordination with local law enforcement, and their actions escalate events, leading to more violence and unrest. The President and his administration’s use of federal forces shows a shocking disregard for the legitimate use of our federal resources and the authority of local law enforcement. We are a nation of laws and fundamental constitutional guarantees. This abuse of power cannot continue."
Thursday morning, State Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr requesting federal law enforcement to come to Denver.
Thursday afternoon, House and Senate Democrats wrote to U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn, letting him know that "the deployment of federal forces in Colorado would not be welcome absent an invitation from the state's leaders."
Shortly after that, House Republicans, including Williams, signed a letter sent to Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), requesting the National Guard be used to protect state-owned property, including the State Capitol and Liberty Park across the street. A deadly shooting happened in the homeless camp in Liberty Park about an hour after the letter was sent to the governor.
"The Governor has previously deployed the guard to protect state buildings during protests at the request of the Denver mayor and would consider it again if needed. At this time, the state is working with State Patrol and local law enforcement on this challenging matter," Polis said in a statement to Next with Kyle Clark.
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