Time's Up Hancock: Protesters rally at city hall, call for Denver's mayor to resign

Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 20:00:47-05

DENVER -- Dozens of protestors rallied on the steps of the city and county building to call for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to resign Wednesday amid sexual harassment allegations.

The "Times Up Hancock" rally called for an independent investigation and for Hancock to resign.

"We need a mayor who understands the power differential between a boss and an employee," Lisa Calderon, co-chair of Colorado's Latino Forum, said. "We need a mayor that understands texting a subordinate about pole dancing is never appropriate conduct."

Denver7 Investigates first broke the story involving a veteran police detective who said Hancock made inappropriate comments and sent her harassing text messages in 2012, when she was working on his security detail. Hancock said he doesn't believe his behavior was sexual harassment but he apologized, saying he realizes now that it was inappropriate.

In response to the allegations, the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police has also called for Hancock to resign and asks for an independent investigation into the city's public safety leadership.

"You don't even have to be a lawyer to look at the definition that the city has spelled out for sexual harassment and the mayor's conduct meets that definition," Calderon said.

Amber Miller, a spokeswoman with the mayor's office, called the rally "politics" and said many of the protestors already had issues with the mayor prior to the sexual harassment claims.

"He knows that he has disappointed folks. He's frankly disappointed himself in this situation, but the groups that have come out in the past few days, unfortunately, are the common critics that over the years have opposed this administration in many steps that we have taken," said Miller. "It's unfortunate that they are taking this moment for political gain."

Organizers of the rally also said they plan to launch a petition asking for the mayor to step down.

"There have been talks about recall, but right now we're just focused on -- he needs to do the right thing and step down," said Calderon.