For a fourth day, demonstrators were out in Colorado Springs to protest police brutality after the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
It's one of many protests throughout the state and country.
"I couldn't sit at home and do nothing nothing," said Ayla Sanchez, who protested in between work shifts. Her voice was raw and vibrated under the stress of yelling as loud as she could.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Niski Speaks, Responds To "Use Of Force" Video
Also on Tuesday, Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski held a press conference and apologized for waiting until now to address the unrest in the city and around the country over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The comment opened his first public statement since daily protests began Saturday in Colorado Springs and as demonstrators were out again. He says he thinks his silence has impacted perception.
"I do think my delay has caused—I don't want to sat violence—I just think it has created more of a need by the protesters to get their message out because they don't believe they're being heard by us."
Niski called the death of Floyd tragic and unjustified, and says the department joins protesters in their outrage.
"We have heard from members of our community who are scared, outraged, and fearful of police," said Niski. "We grieve with you and understand that you are weary, skeptical and exhausted."
Niski said most of the protesters have been peaceful though there are instigators of violence. He also said he's been meeting with community leaders, and regrets that continued dialogue has taken so long.
Later that afternoon, the police department released a statement attributed to Chief Niski in response to a video circulating on social media. The video was allegedly taken Monday night during the protests, and shows use of force during an arrest.
That statement in its entirety is here:
"I am aware of the video circulating around social media of our officers using force to effect an arrest during the recent protest. This incident will be reviewed to determine if any laws or department policies were broken.
Preliminary, the video appears to show officers attempting to take a suspect into custody after protestors were given a lawful order to disperse. The suspect seems to be resisting, which is when officers use force to gain compliance and take him into custody.
This video shows a small snapshot of that arrest. The full review will reveal all the events that occurred leading up to this incident, during this incident, and what happened after the video stops. Once that is complete, if the officers have been found to have violated our policies or the law, the appropriate action will be taken.
While protests in Colorado Springs have been overwhelmingly peaceful, we have seen violent and unlawful acts take place, especially during the night. We stand in solidarity with our community and we will continue to protect our community's right to protest, but when a crime occurs we have to take action to ensure an escalation of violence does not continue."
KOAA reports demonstrations Tuesday night were again declared an "unlawful assembly," before a firework went off and what appeared to have been either smoke or tear gas was seen in the area.
This post has been updated to include events reported later in the afternoon and evening.
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