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'It's Worth Fighting For': Denver Police Chief Marches With Peaceful Protesters

DENVER (CBS4) - The police chief for the Denver Police Department marched arm & arm with peaceful protesters on Monday. It is the fifth day for protests in the Mile High City. Pazen also spoke to a crowd of people and answered some of their questions. His first words spoken through a megaphone were "George Floyd."

Chief Pazen march credit D'Artagnan Rasberry3
(credit: D'Artagnan Rasberry)

One man, D'Artagnan Rasberry, who was documenting the event on social media stated, "...easily a thousand people. Very organized. Some of the most civil moments over the past four days."

Chief Pazen march credit D'Artagnan Rasberry
(credit: D'Artagnan Rasberry)

Rasberry also stated he wasn't sure how the march would go, but said "there's just no way not to be moved right now."

Pazen was also seen raising his fist in the air alongside other protesters. Organizers called on the crowd to respect the chief of police during the march and speech.

He told CBS4 "this is their march, this is our march."

Pazen joined CBS4's Kelly Werthmann during special coverage on CBSN Denver Monday night.

"When you were marching with the protesters earlier this evening, you first said, 'this is their march,' and then said 'no, this is our March,' and you corrected yourself. What did you mean by that?" asked Werthmann.

"You know I was, they invited me to their space, and that's what I was trying to convey. I didn't want to make this about me as an individual, Neil made the offer. We said yes and so I wanted to, to honor them for the courage that they displayed my ID, and then it was it said same young lady that is tired and she would she's absolutely right. It's our work this is our city, we have to work together so that we don't tear it apart," he responded.

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Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen speaks on CBSN Denver via Zoom. (credit: CBS)

Pazen says he was sought out by a young man who he described as a leader in the community.

"I want to give credit where credit is due," Pazen said. "He voiced his concerns. He wanted to make positive change. We actually met this morning on state capitol grounds."

Pazen went on to say the two became emotional while looking at the damage to the property surrounding them.

"Neil and I struck up a conversation. He invited me to join him and his friends on a peaceful march," he said.

Pazen noted the public's plea for change in order to stop these deadly confrontations.

"We are planning something for the next day or two where we can get this documented so we can work towards positive change and we certainly acknowledge that we've made mistakes, but we also are committed to doing better. We want to be a better police department. We want a better city, and we want a better community, and the only way that we can get there is by working together, This is certainly not an issue of us versus them. This is all of us versus the issue. The issue of injustice, and it's worth fighting for."

Denver is under a 9 p.m.- 5 a.m. curfew through Friday morning.

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