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3 arrested in Denver protests, city offices close early

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Posted at 2:20 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 08:09:12-05

DENVER — Three people were arrested Wednesday during protests in Denver over President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the Electoral College, police said.

Crowds gathered in the downtown area through the afternoon Wednesday, but they remained peaceful, unlike Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The three arrests were for disturbing the peace, having a taser and fighting.

City offices and buildings in the downtown Denver area were closing early Wednesday afternoon, officials announced.

Mayor Michael Hancock ordered the early closures. The Denver Downtown YMCA was also closing early, at 4:30 p.m.

Some protesters in Denver were beginning to leave the area by mid-afternoon, though city officials decided to close city and county buildings early "as a proactive safety measure," Councilman Jamie Torres said in a statement on Twitter.

Hancock tweeted that city officials were "monitoring closely the situation" in Washington and the smaller demonstration being held in Denver.

"My hope is that this situation will be resolved quickly," Hancock tweeted. "Pray for our nation."

Colorado state Democrats later Wednesday released a statement condemning the riots in Washington. Senate President Leroy Garcia, House Speaker-designate Alec Garnett, Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, and House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar released the following statement:

“American democracy is under attack. Nothing short of a siege is raining down on Congress, incited by a president who has refused to give up power after a free and fair election and enabled by those willing to turn a blind eye as our foundational principles are trampled. Our democracy is precious and requires constant vigilance and protection. Today was a harrowing reminder that it can crumble without the efforts of everyday Americans working to keep it strong."

Colorado state Republicans also released statements Wednesday.

"Watching from afar, it saddens me to see our great nation so divided as violence has erupted in Washington D.C.," Minority leader Chris Holbert said in a statement. "While I honor the people’s right to peacefully protest, I strongly condemn such violence and the siege upon our nation’s Capitol."

"This is a sad day in the history of a nation born on the foundation of individual rights, the United States Constitution, and the rule of law," Joint Budget Committee Member Bob Rankin said. "No matter what our strongly held beliefs may be, disrespect for our institutions and resorting to violence is not appropriate."

Said Sen. Kevin Priola: "Violence is a sign of weakness."