- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2020

DENVER — Activists demanding racial justice and calling for police defunding temporarily took over a meeting of the Denver City Council.

Council President Jolon Clark ceded control of the meeting after being shouted down by members of the public during a meeting Monday night, The Denver Post reported.

The council’s half-hour public comment session ended at 5:30 p.m. As the council sought to take up its normal agenda, a crowd entered and demanded more time at the microphone.

Clark proposed to one of the group leaders that the council carry out its legally required business before resuming public comment, but activists rebuffed the suggestion.

Council members subsequently listened as activists demanded the council shift cash flow from the Denver Police Department to a variety of social services and provide a seat on the police department’s Citizen Oversight Board.

Activists also called for the resignations of Mayor Michael Hancock and District Attorney Beth McCann.

Many spoke of 16-year-old Alexis Mendez-Perez, who was shot and killed April 24 by Desmond Manning, a Department of Corrections employee.

McCann announced last week that Manning would not face charges because there was not enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Activists invoked the names of people killed by law enforcement officers who did not face charges. The list included Marvin Booker, Michael Marshall, Jessica Hernandez and Paul Childs.

Colorado Politics reported that Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca encouraged the speakers.

“This is what democracy looks like,” CdeBaca said following the public comment session of more than two hours.

Recent Denver council meetings have included public comments focused on calls for social justice and police reform following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The death of Floyd, a black man, prompted protests across the U.S. and around the world against police brutality and racial injustice.

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