24 people were arrested in California after a crowd protesting two deadly police officer-involved shootings became violent. While it is unclear what charges the 24 people who were arrested will be facing, in Colorado jurisdictions such as Arapahoe, Douglas, and Denver County, they would likely be charged with Engaging in a Riot (C.R.S. 18-9-104), Obstructing a Peace Officer (C.R.S. 18-8-104), Disorderly Conduct (C.R.S. 18-9-106), or Disrupting Lawful Assembly (C.R.S. 18-9-108). Two men were shot and killed by police within the last week, and the family of one of the men has already instigated a $50 million lawsuit against the police department. Allegedly, the mostly peaceful protesting crowd became violent and began throwing rocks at officers and vandalizing cars.
In Colorado, Engaging in a Riot (C.R.S. 18-9-104) is a class 4 felony if the person engages in a riot while using a deadly weapon, and is a class 2 misdemeanor if the person is not so armed. Obstruction (C.R.S. 18-8-104) is also a class 2 misdemeanor in Weld, Larimer, and Adams County, Colorado, and requires proof that a person knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the enforcement of the penal law or the preservation of the peace by a peace officer acting under the color of his or her authority.
In this case, the police apparently may have incited the physical violence by pushing the initially peaceful crowd. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence, and we have seen in recent years how often the Denver Police are the instigators of violence during a peaceful protest.
If you have had a violent altercation with Aurora, Denver, or Westminster police, and been accused or charged with Engaging in a Riot or Obstructing a Peace Officer, the attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office have been there before. We understand that police often abuse their power and falsely accuse citizens of crimes they themselves are responsible for. When you are accused of a police involved crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.