Denver, Colorado 2020-10-10 17:58:35 –
Just as the “Patriots’ Rally” seemed to end, someone was shot.
A man was shot dead in Civic Center Park this afternoon as two groups prepared for a downtown showdown. Denver Police quickly announced on Twitter that they had taken two suspects into custody.
Competitive rallies seemed to end when the weapon exploded. The man who was shot fell and was loaded into an ambulance. The person who fired the gun was immediately surrounded by the police, who tied his hands.
The shooting took place a short distance away. It was not immediately clear which side the shooter or the victim were associated with. Police set up a line near the large red chair sculpture in front of the central public library. They pushed people back a few hundred yards. Anyone who said they saw anything was immediately removed by the police.
The first rally was planned by John “Tig” Tiegen, a resident of El Paso County and part of President Donald Trump’s reelection drive in Colorado. He organized what he called a “Patriot Muster”. He’s been promoting it over the past week to his tens of thousands of subscribers on social media, and several times on the conservative KNUS radio station.
In response, the Communists in Denver, the Colorado Socialist Revolution, and other groups organized what they called “An Anti-Fascist Black Lives Matter Soup Campaign.” This appears to be a reference to Trump’s claim in July that protesters assaulted police officers with cans of soup. The original title of the event was “Rally to Oppose Fascism”.
By 3 p.m., over a hundred people had gathered on each side, with a significantly larger crowd on the anti-fascist side. Both sides shouted, sometimes through megaphones, as police separated the two groups using fences and sometimes pepperballs deployed on the anti-fascist side. Very early on, some of the anti-fascist demonstrators burned a thin blue flag in front of officers.
Later that hour, as the “patriot” side began to leave, the shooting occurred.
Throughout the afternoon, the two sides had very little face-to-face interaction. The police had cordoned off the Greek amphitheater, making contact on both sides difficult. The Adams County Sheriff’s Department was there to assist the Denver Police.
The dueling protests are the latest in a series that evolved from the much larger protests in late spring after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.