It would be bad enough if a group of students from a Denver high school merely applauded police officers on bikes being struck by a car. But the sin is compounded by the fact that the copes in question were there to protect these young people as they marched in protest of the Ferguson grand jury decision. The kids, moreover, were out of school without authorization.
The Denver police union says some East High School students cheered and chanted “hit him again” when a driver struck four bicycle officers escorting hundreds of students marching in the street Wednesday….
One officer was critically injured, three others were treated and released.
“These actions are not only reprehensible but quite possibly the most disturbing thing this Association has ever heard,” the Denver Police Protective Association said in one of two statements issued Thursday.
“The Denver Police Protective Association recognizes all citizens’ rights to the First Amendment and the right to assemble lawfully. We do not recognize groups that continually ignore the law and expect the police to protect them while they break the law,” the union said.
Denver police say the collision happened when the car’s driver had a “medical episode.” The injured officer, John Adsit, a 9-year veteran, is reported to be serious condition. He underwent surgery Denver Health Medical Center on Wednesday and faces additional surgeries.
The Denver Police Department was unable to confirm the claim that students cheered and issued this statement Thursday:
The Denver Police Department cannot independently confirm claims that students cheered after the officers were struck protecting protesters yesterday. However, if in fact there were inappropriate actions taken by a few students [Police Chief Robert] Chief White does not believe this reflects the opinions of the vast majority of protesters from East High School yesterday.
Chief White met with student organizers from East High School today and even facilitated a meeting between the organizers and Officer [John] Adsit’s family. Chief White hopes that we are able to move forward as a community and nation to continue building a relationship between police and the communities they serve.
The Denver Public Schools issued this statement in “response to claims of inappropriate behavior by students following the accident involving Denver police officers”:
We have no knowledge of the alleged comments. We would deplore any such comments and will look into the allegation, and would welcome any evidence that would assist us in an investigation. All afternoon yesterday and all day today, students at East expressed their deep concern for Officer Adsit and his family and their appreciation for the police assistance in ensuring student safety during the march. In a very moving moment, student leaders at East today presented … Chief … White with flowers to give on their behalf to the officer and his family. We are deeply grateful for the work of our police force in keeping our students safe over the past two days, and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Adsit in hopes of a full recovery. We have conveyed very strongly to our students the importance of all our students conducting themselves in a respectful and thoughtful manner and are examining certain instances over the last two days where our students did not do so.
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