POLITICS

Denver Driver Appears To Target Man With Car As George Floyd Protest Grows Violent

“Coloradans are better than this,” Gov. Jared Polis said, noting he was “shocked” by the footage.

Protests in Denver over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, grew violent on Thursday after a driver appeared to target a demonstrator with their car and an unknown person fired a gun several times near those gathered outside the Colorado Capitol.

No one was injured in the shooting, but Annabel Escobar, a Denver resident at the protest, uploaded a video on Thursday afternoon of demonstrators walking toward the Statehouse after reports of the gunshots subsided. During a tense moment, a man can be seen jumping on the hood of a moving car, which then speeds away with him on the vehicle. The driver then appears to swerve toward the man after he falls off the car, then speeds away.

A link to the video, which is disturbing, can be found on Twitter.

Escobar told The Washington Post she spoke with the man and said he was not seriously injured. She said the police had been notified, but it’s unclear if they had found the driver.

The Denver Police Department did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said later Thursday that it was a “very sad night for our state,” adding that he was disheartened the protests had “developed into vandalism and violence.”

“I was absolutely shocked by video evidence of a motorist attempting to run over a protestor,” Polis wrote on Twitter. “Coloradans are better than this. I share the immense anguish we all feel about the unjust murder of George Floyd. But let me be clear, senseless violence will never be healed by more violence.”

The protests on Thursday involved clashes with police as authorities fired tear gas and pepper spray into the crowd.

Denver Police Department officials said there were no reports of injuries or damage following the shooting, and police did not have anyone in custody. They said six or seven shots were fired shortly after 5:30 p.m. local time, although the Denver Post said it was unclear where they came from.

State Rep. Leslie Herod, who was outside the Statehouse during the shooting, said the scene was “tense” immediately after the event. Footage shared on social media shows demonstrators running from the area. 

The demonstrations in Denver add to growing national outrage over the death of Floyd, who died in police custody after a white officer knelt on his neck. Protests erupted in Minneapolis on Thursday night for the third day and a police station was set on fire as demonstrators clashed with authorities. The Minneapolis National Guard had been activated and said 500 troops were on their way to the region to help quell the growing unrest.

Four police officers were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department after Floyd’s death this week, but members of Floyd’s family and the city’s mayor have called for charges to be filed.

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