DENVER — Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson was taken to the hospital Wednesday after he was knocked down during a protest at a downtown Denver homeless camp.
During a community press conference Wednesday evening, Anderson said that he was pushed to the ground by a Denver Police officer.
He said officers had put their hand on a 13-year-old girl, and he was trying to protect her when he was shoved.
"Today more than ever we've seen the worst of those put on a badge and who are supposed to serve and protect our communities," Anderson said.
Watch the full press conference (Warning: contains profanity):
Murphy Robinson, Denver's executive director of public safety, said police are reviewing Anderson's allegations and that body camera footage will be released.
Denver Police also released HALO camera video of the incident Wednesday evening.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry this happened to you and I'm sorry that you fell, and I hope that Tay Anderson will heal from the wounds he got today," Robinson said. "I also hope that all those on the front lines of cleanups or protests, that you follow lawful orders from police."
“My body hurts all over … I will be okay! STILL I RISE,” Anderson tweeted, sharing a photo of himself in a face mask in a hospital bed.
A video shared by 9NEWS Reporter Noel Brennan showed Anderson knocked to the ground after a scuffle between protesters and members of the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).
Anderson had apparently been caught in the middle of the crowd and was pushed backward. He was seen holding his head on the ground before being helped into the backseat of a car.
“Today Denver Police assaulted me,” Anderson tweeted. “But I want us to remained focus[ed] on the reason why we were standing our ground and that is the immoral treatment of our unhoused neighbors.”
Anderson and the rest of the protesters were demonstrating against a public health order that led officials to clear Lincoln Memorial Park, which has been home to a large encampment for multiple weeks.
Anderson said during Wednesday night's press conference that the group was trying to negotiate with the city to give those who were living at the camp more time to retrieve and move their belongings.
"The current state of Lincoln [Memorial] Park presents significant public and environmental health risks due to ongoing unsafe and unhealthy conditions," Ann Cecchie-Williams with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) told 9NEWS. "As the stewards of public health in Denver, DDPHE is responsible for responding to community concerns about the serious issues present in the park, including issues that could impact the general public beyond those living outdoors."
Last week, Denver Park Rangers and outreach workers engaged those in the park to warn them of an upcoming temporary closure and offer connections to services, shelter and transportation, Cecchie-Williams said.
This was the same week that one person was killed and two others were injured in a shooting at the park.
Crews plan to clean Lincoln Memorial Park and reopen it once the public health issue has abated, Cecchie-Williams said.
Anderson has been a fixture at recent protests in the Denver metro area. Notably, he was part of the large-scale demonstrations following the death of George Floyd at the Capitol, as well as protests in support of changing the Stapleton neighborhood’s name.
He was also a proponent of DPS' decision to remove Denver police officers from schools.
Anderson, who is 21, won a seat on the DPS school board just two years out of high school.
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