Worth noting: No police, no violence

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen marches and speaks with demonstrators on Monday, June 1, 2020, as they peacefully protest the death of George Floyd. (Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)

June 2, 2020 — When Denver’s 10 pm news ended Monday night, the demonstrations downtown were still peaceful. They’d been that way all day.

During the afternoon Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen had linked arms with demonstrators and marched with them from Civic Center Park to Denver Performing Arts Complex. Other groups gathered at the state capitol. Thousands stayed downtown after sunset — but this time there was no violence, no vandalism. The 9 pm curfew time came and went and although there were still large crowds in the streets an hour later, they remained peaceful.

There were a few fireworks, a few minor scuffles between individuals, and one car doing donuts. That’s all.

The only difference from previous nights that were filled with violence and vandalism? There were no police to be seen. No show of force, no riot gear, no police vehicles, no sirens or flashing lights. No police.

10 thoughts on “Worth noting: No police, no violence

  1. Wow–that’s interesting. Perhaps not unexpected, though, because I’m sure for some people, seeing the police out doing the barricades or in riot gear would only make their anger boil over. I know plenty of people cheesed off at the over militarization of our police forces, that we’ll be turning into a police state very quickly. I think seeing that stuff triggers fear, but anger more than the fear.

    1. If the police aren’t there, there’s no target for the anger against them. It makes sense, but I’m surprised the vandalism didn’t continue in their absence. Still, I’m grateful and surprised and hope maybe it points to a way forward.

  2. This is the right thing for police to do. Once you get them admitting that there is a problem and join in a solution, then you’ve got a path to resolution and peace on the streets.

    1. Interesting that the outside agitators seemingly disappeared. I’d have expected them to see the lack of police as a prime opportunity. Or maybe it meant a lack of targets for them.

  3. “A mild answer turns away rage, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) sometimes I wonder if de-escalation is a part of the Police training curriculum. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated time and time again the “hate begets hate, violence begets violence and toughness begets a greater toughness”. Calmly communicating, showing love and empathy will always bring about a better outcome.

    1. I think de-escalation is supposedly part of police training but across the country there hasn’t been much evidence of that. Of course, peaceful gatherings don’t garner headlines and media attention.

... and that's my two cents