August 28, 2008
The broken dream of police brutality in DenverBy Larrey Anderson
Jimmy Breslin wrote a guest editorial for the Denver Post a couple of days ago entitled "No Need for Cops to Repeat History."
But it isn't the police who have been trying to repeat history here in Denver -- it is the radical left. The Denver PD hasn't changed its name to "Recreate 68." According to the Denver Post:
So the Denver Police Department took steps to prevent a "massive conflict." That's its job. But police, being police, make Jimmy Breslin nervous -- and, apparently, bring back some bad memories.
I'll answer that last question: Nope. No cops throwing anybody through any plate glass windows here in Denver. ("... took you back to a night in Chicago..."? "... it was right in front of you..."? Whatever little ruckus Breslin saw taking place in Denver couldn't take me, or his other readers, back to Chicago in 1968 -- because most of us weren't at either location.)
Mr. Breslin needs to get out more. I have. I have been walking the streets of Denver since Sunday. The police have been nothing but patient and helpful. And they have, at times, been under enormous, and incongruous, pressure.
At about the same time that Mr. Breslin was witnessing the Denver police not throw anyone through a plate glass window, I was attending the Recreate 68 rally that was held on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol. Here is what I saw:
Denver's mountain bike-mounted police were waiting to accompany Recreate 68 on their march from the Capitol to the convention center. The man waving the Palestinian flag was hurling profanities at the police. He kept telling them to get of off the "%&$@ing sidewalk." He called them "fascists," spouted anti-Semitic blather, and babbled on and on about his right to assemble. The cops simply ignored him. But, then again, there were no plate glass windows in close proximity.
Here's more of Breslin describing the Denver PD:
Those automatic weapons must have really scared the sidewalk.
Have the Denver police officers been carrying automatic weapons? Sure, a few of them have. Here's a picture of what Breslin was describing in that last paragraph:
What the picture does not show is who the Denver police were following with that "station wagon." They were, in fact, protecting these people:
Your vision is not failing you. These are left-wing protestors pretending to be confined behind a wire fence. Their "holding cell" is actually a float in a parade.
The police spent a lot of time protecting protestors' rights to assemble. Here is an example:
On the left of the picture are some fundamentalist Christians, who were heckling, and being heckled by, members of Recreate 68. The police kept the conflicting parties physically separated. But they allowed both sides to speak.
There were moments when the humanity (and the vulnerability) of the police were evident. I witnessed the police arrest two protestors after a brief scuffle that took place at the park at Denver's Civic Center. The police tried to form a line to keep onlookers (almost half of the crowd was composed of members of the media) and the protestors out of the street and away from the confrontation.
One of the officers was a short, frail looking, young woman. Her blonde hair tumbled from underneath her protective helmet down to her bullet proof vest. Her "riot gear" was clearly hard for her to manage. She broke formation a couple of times and trotted over to the spectators who lingered in the street. She warned stragglers to get back on the sidewalk because they might get hurt. Her commanding officer had to keep ordering her back into the line.
Breslin claims in his article that the actions of the police in Denver were "about a foot away from Chicago." Actually, Denver is about 1,000 miles from Chicago. And 1968 was forty years ago.
Thanks to all of the police who have provided security here in Denver for the Democratic National Convention. They have done a terrific job.
Larrey Anderson is reporting this week from the streets of Denver on the DNC for American Thinker. Photos by Larrey Anderson and Brett Olson.