NewsLocal News


Denver Police Department called in 12 local agencies for backup amid protests; non-lethal force was used by outside groups

denver police tear gas george floyd protests
Posted at 10:08 AM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 07:14:12-04

DENVER — The Denver Police Department wasn’t the only agency involved in the recent protests in downtown Denver — there were 12 others. And several of these outside groups confirmed they used non-lethal force.

Since late May, thirteen total agencies, including DPD, worked together in crowd control downtown as protesters demanded justice for George Floyd, the man who died in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department in late May and whose death sparked a nationwide protest movement against police brutality and racial injustice.

On Friday, Denver police told a federal judge that it brought in 12 other agencies as backup during the protests.

During the hearing, attorneys for the Denver Police Department said some of the more alarming actions by authorities downtown may have come from an outside agency. While the attorneys said Denver officers should not be blamed for the actions of other agencies, the federal judge argued that if DPD hired those agencies to help, they are responsible for them.

Denver7 reached out to all 12 agencies to ask what kind of non-lethal force was used, if any.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that measures of non-lethal force were taken, though specifics were not available.

“We are compiling information regarding our involvement with assisting DPD over the past several days,” a spokesperson said. “We will release this information once complete."

Broomfield Police Department said its SWAT team had pepper balls and pepper spray with them during the protests. In a follow-up email, they acknowledged using pepper spray and said, "Denver should have full documentation of the event."

Denver7 has made an open records request for this information from DPD.

Westminster Police Department said they helped Denver police for several nights. During this time, they used less lethal munitions on one occasion when protesters were advancing on officers after they gave several verbal commands to disperse, the department said. During this specific incident, police said they used two 40mm sponge rounds, one stinger ball and partial use of a fogger.

The Aurora Police Department said it used 12-gauge less-lethal shotguns and 40mm single- and multi-launchers.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said it used less-lethal bean bag shotgun rounds, 37mm rubber bullets, 40mm foam batons, tear gas and pepper spray. They also used flash bangs and stinger ball grenades, tear gas and pepper spray grenades, the sheriff's office said.

Brighton Police Department and Commerce City Police Department, which were a combined tactical team during these protests, told Denver7 on Wednesday morning that the following types of less-lethal munition were used: pepperball projectiles, 12-gauge less-lethal rounds, 40mm direct impact rounds, stingball grenades and tear gas.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office told Denver7 that deputies who went to Denver to help the DPD were equipped with less-less options, but the sheriff’s office was not sure what exactly the deputies had on them, or what was and was not used. The sheriff’s office said they needed more time to determine this.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said while their deputies did have tear gas and pepper spray on them, they never used it while helping Denver police.

A spokesperson with the Arvada Police Department told Denver7 that officers had bean bag rounds and flashbangs on them, but did not say if they were used. Arvada police worked with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office through their JeffCo Regional Tactical Team.

Both Lakewood Police Department and Wheat Ridge Police Department confirmed their officers did not use non-lethal force.