Mon, 21 Sep 2020

DENVER, the United States, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Thousands descended on downtown Denver Monday, as the fifth straight day of protests over George Floyd's death were the most peaceful yet.

"The difference was police did not use teargas and pepper balls," reported local CBS Channel 4 News, as Denver police presence was the smallest since protests began last Thursday.

Denver law enforcement's new "hands-off" strategy seemed to be the most effective since a graphic video of Floyd's death in Minneapolis surfaced, sparking many destructive riots across the United States.

On Monday afternoon, Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen protested as well, and was seen on all local TV news channels locking arms and marching with African-American protestors as a sign of solidarity against police brutality and Floyd's murder.

Pazen told the media that some officers have been pulled off the front lines because of their conduct.

Since last Thursday when protests began, Denver police have arrested 284 people and confiscated more than a dozen guns and other weapons, the police authorities tweeted.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock Monday also extended the city's curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. out of respect to protesters who wanted more time.

After 11 p.m. on Monday local time, crowds started dispersing peacefully, as police used loudspeakers to ask them to leave, but threatened arrests if they did not comply.

The evening protest was a stark contrast to teargas, pepper balls, and aggressive police behavior that has been on display since every evening rally started Thursday.

Local TV news reporters, who were seen live being fired upon by police Sunday night using pepper balls, breathed sighs of relief as the evening brought the least violent protesting in days.

"What a difference tonight has seen," a local Channel 2 News reporter commented.

"A successful evening compared to what we've had before," CBS Channel 4 News reported, adding "this is what protesters wanted -- a peaceful night -- they did not want to be overshadowed by the violence."

U.S. President Donald Trump's threat earlier in the day to deploy federal troops to cities to quell violence was called "counterproductive and would only stoke the potential for more violence and destruction," by Colorado Governor Jared Polis.

"This is a time for healing, for bringing people together and the best way to protect civil rights is to move away from escalating violence," Polis said in a statement.

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