The head of Denver’s police union is calling for the resignation of the city’s police chief after he ordered officers to stand down while protestors vandalized a memorial honoring fallen police officers, KCNC reports.
Denver Police Union President Nick Rogers said Police Chief Robert White should resign after giving instructions to officers observing a protest against police brutality to not engage with the protestors, allowing two men to pour red paint on the memorial.
Although the two men were taken into custody, Rogers –whose face was obscured during an interview because he works undercover — insisted that police administrators “screwed up.”
“There’s no reason to allow someone to desecrate a memorial, ” he explained. “There is no reason to allow that to happen. It’s wrong”
Saturday, approximately 200 people marched to the Denver Police Department headquarters in support of Jessica “Jessie” Hernandez, a 17-year-old who was shot and killed by police while driving a car that had been reported stolen. Other marchers attending called for justice for people killed by police while protesting “police terrorism.”
After arriving at police headquarters, two protestors poured paint on the memorial as some officers reportedly stood by with tears in their eyes.
Denver firefighters were later called out to use high-pressure hoses to clean the paint off of the memorial.
According to Cmdr. Matt Murray, officers were instructed to avoid confrontations, saying, “We believe it’s better for the community not to have conflict,”
Union head Rogers disagreed.
“We have a breaking point and we are there,” he said before stating, “I will ask all 1,400 police officers to rally, and we will respond to the mayor’s office in unison to hand him a letter asking for the chief’s resignation.”
A police spokesman did not respond to the union leader’s comments.
Watch the video below from KCNC: