"Back The Blue" and "Black Lives Matter" protesters quarreled as the pro-cop group refused to give ground to "domestic terrorists."
Conflict arose when anti-police protesters banged pots and chanted profanities as they marched over to a pro-cop group at approximately 3.30pm on Sunday in Civic Central Park in Denver, Colorado.
Both groups were rallying in different areas of the park before the anti-cop group loudly made their way to the other demonstration.
Anti-police protesters held up signs as they marched their way through the pro-cop crowd – with some signs reading Black Lives Matter, cops eat s***, stop police brutality, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain.
One counter protester was seen wearing a mask with a pig on it and holding a fishing rod with a donut attached to it as he made his way through the pro-cop rally.
The clash comes nearly two months after the death of George Floyd – which prompted violent clashes between protesters and police across the United States.
Blue Lives Matter is a countermovement that emerged after Black Lives Matter activists began protesting systemic racism and police brutality.
Violence erupted between the two groups when the anti-police crowd interfered with the other demonstration – on the side of Colorado's Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
The anti-cop protesters, which were originally stationed at the State Capitol steps, titled their demonstration: “No parties for the pigs! Shut down Pro-Police Rally.”
The pro-police rally had been taking place in the park's Greek Amphitheater.
Prior to the demonstrations, Randy Corporon, an attorney who promoted the pro-police rally, said: “We’re exercising our constitutional right to peacefully assemble, and we have no intention of giving up that ground to these domestic terrorists.
“This chief of police is the guy who walked hand-in-hand with Black Lives Matter."
Corporon told the Greeley Tribune that he was asked to reschedule the pro-cop rally by Denver police chief Paul Pazen – but the attorney refused.
"He was agitated that we’re going to get his officers hurt," Corporon told the news outlet.
“My response to him was that he should allow his officers to do their job and if people are down there breaking the law, to stop them. Because they’ll have nothing to fear from us.”
The pro-cop demonstration – dubbed a family-friendly event – and was planned to run between 3pm and 6pm.
As counter-protesters made their way to the pro-police group, fights broke out and punches were thrown – prompting officers on scene to use pepper balls and pepper spray.
The use of pepper spray was used when people among the BLM supports had made "aggressive moves" towards officers, according to the Denver Channel.
According to the Greeley Tribune, Denver’s Party for Socialism and Liberation was the group leading the anti-cop protest – which planned to "shut down" the pro-cop rally.
A protest organizer for the group, Lillian House, said the honoring of police is "unacceptable."
“It’s just all around out of touch with the struggles people are facing," she explained.
About an hour after anti-cop protesters interfered with the pro-cop group, law enforcement supporters started to leave, the Denver Post reported.
Some anti-police protesters followed officers who had been retreating, which led to "two pepper ball deployments."
Denver police spokesman, Tyrone Campbell said: “We had two pepper ball deployments and one hand-held fog device deployment, and we made one arrest for assault.
“We have a policy that dictates when and how those tools are used. And we have supervisors on scene to make sure there’s a reasonable reason for those devices to be utilized. And any time we use any of this stuff, there will be a review. It seems as if they were used in an appropriate fashion.
“Our goal is to make sure everybody has the ability to exercise their First Amendment rights."
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