The head of the Denver police union has confirmed that Democratic leaders in the city ordered officers to “stand-down” during a rally supportive of officers that was attended by conservative author Michelle Malkin.
According to Denver Police Protective Association Nick Rogers, not all officers complied with the instruction, adding that one lieutenant defied the order, as Fox News reported.
The “Back the Blue” event at Civic Center Park on Sunday was disrupted by Black Lives Matter and others wearing black-bloc who were armed with collapsible batons and attacked some attendees of the rally. Malkin further identified them in online posts as Antifa.
The Denver Post reported that police “attempted to form a line around the two groups, but could not completely separate them.” The newspaper added that Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen asked the group “to reschedule or move the pro-police rally.”
Malkin responded online after the incident, “Denver Police Chief Pazen, who marched with BLM last month, let pro-police patriots get beaten and silenced.”
That’s correct, according to Rogers.
“Basically, what she described is exactly what happened,” Rogers told the “Peter Boyles Show” on 710 KNUS. “Once I figured that out, I reached out and said … someone has to apologize. Someone from the police side has to apologize.”
After investigating the incident, Rogers stated that the stand-down order was given by the on-scene incident commander, adding that one lieutenant refused it and directed his officers to remain at the rally.
“That’s the only reason this thing didn’t get worse because somebody broke rank and decided to not retreat,” Rogers told Boyles. “And they stayed so they could provide some assistance.”
The talk show host asked Rogers who specifically gave the stand-down order, but he refused to identify the incident commander.
The event was advertised by the Pro Police Rally Colorado Facebook as the sixth annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
An attorney who assisted in organizing the event, Randy Corporon, confirmed that Pazen requested that he either reschedule the event or move the gathering from its regular location, claiming that officers could be placed in danger by BLM counter-demonstrators.
“He was agitated that we’re going to get his officers hurt,” Corporon told the Denver Post. “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.”
In addition to BLM and Antifa, counter-demonstrators with groups identified as the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Afro-Liberation Front were also on hand, KMGH-TV reported.
The outlet reported that counter-protesters were “armed with pots and pans, whistles, hand-held sirens and other noise-making gear,” and that they “crashed the Pro-Police rally and drowned out those trying to speak.”
“This was me shouting at masked BLM/Antifa thugs who swarmed our stage UNPROVOKED. This was me after witnessing a veteran & an organizer who had just led group prayer getting beaten on stage while police did nothing. This was me shouting at masked Antifa wielding a baton,” Malkin wrote on Twitter in response to a photo of her from the event.