Demonstrators with the Black Lives Matter organization protesting the death of a man in a Denver jail briefly took over the stage at the city's Martin Luther King Day rally.
The rally in downtown Denver culminated the city's annual "Marade" or march and parade to honor the civil rights leader. Thousands of people took part, on a route that stretched from City Park down Colfax Avenue to Civic Center Park.
The protesters carried a banner with the names Marvin Booker and Michael Marshall, both black men who died while being restrained by deputies at Denver's Downtown Detention Center, the Denver Post reported. They took over the microphone briefly at Civic Center.
"We did not ask permission. We did not get permits. We were not invited," said Amy Brown, who spoke from the stage at Civic Center after commandeering the microphone.
On it's Facebook Page, Black Lives Matter 5280 posted video of the scene at Civic Center Park, and a list of demands addressed at Mayor Michael Hancock.
We stand united with our communities to demand leadership. And if you refuse to lead, we refuse to follow. If you refuse to lead, we refuse to follow
Mayor Hancock- will you honor Dr. King by immediately releasing the tapes showing Denver Sheriff’s Deputies murdering our brother, Michael Marshall.
Nehemiah Taylor, a 13-year-old from Denver, said earlier he was drawn to the Marade by King’s message of inclusiveness.
“No matter what race you are, you can still have equal rights to anything and you can come together,” Taylor said.
Verlando Himes said he came because the gathering served as a reminder of King’s message of peace.
“Love one another, do the things what’s right, don’t be acting unseemly, killing nobody, have a good heart to love everybody,” he said.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday became a Colorado holiday in 1985.