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What Do You Want To Ask Denver Police? Join The Virtual Town Hall

DENVER (CBS4)- The Denver Police Department is hosting what is being called a virtual town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday. It will be presented online in an effort to communicate with the people of Denver following a difficult period of unrest.

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After a week of protests including several days of confrontation, police want to hear from the community. CBS4 went to the steps of the graffiti-scarred capital to find out what the demonstrators would ask the police.

"Why can't we do this peacefully without rubber bullets?" one man said he would ask.

Police insist they are only using foam projectiles. Officers have used pepper balls and other chemical dispersants as well. They have come under criticism, but also under fire themselves from protesters' rocks, cursing and more.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen told CBS4's Rick Sallinger, "We want to support peaceful marches and when we have challenges we will enforce the law."

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The death of George Floyd that sparked the demonstrations happened in another city, but Denver has had its share of black men who died in police actions.

One protester, Ty Johnson, who is black, said he would like to ask the police, "What steps are they taking to ensure that their officers are held accountable when something like this happens?"

A day earlier, Pazen said, "This is all about accountability and we must hold ourselves accountable as well."

The past two nights the marches and protests have gone peacefully for the most part.
Now the question is how to make the peace last.

Dewayne Smith said he would ask, "What groups are they going to connect with to try to be present to both leadership and daily citizens?"

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The police town hall could be titled "Let the healing begin."

DPD encourages residents to review the 21st Century Police Pillars to discuss if they are relevant for policing in Denver.

The listening session will go from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Participants may join the video conference at this link.

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