UPDATE: Out of surgery, still critical but stable. Obviously a long way to go, but this news beats almost all of the alternatives.
The students were protesting the recent decision of a grand jury not to indict a Ferguson officer for defending himself from attack. The officers had deployed to ensure the safety of the students as the peaceful protest moved along busy Colfax Ave. One officer was critically injured, having been run over and dragged almost a hundred feet.
|Officer John Adsit|
Bike copping can be a difficult business. Aside from the inherent danger of riding a bicycle, most urban police cycling is done in densely-populated areas full of vehicles, people and distractions. Proximity with traffic, especially in situations like this protest where the bikes are extremely valuable, creates a recipe for conflict, with the officer always at a disadvantage.
Denver's 16th Street Mall bike cops are an interesting group. They have a dizzying array of citizens within their area, from downtown business types to homeless street people. They patrol in about every kind of weather - a picture a friend (who is a DPD officer) sent last winter showed the bike unit riding in snow that would send most of the rest of us indoors. In the summer, local temperatures of one hundred or more degrees are not uncommon, with pavement temps even higher. Yet.... I'll bet they don't worry about attracting new officers to what is assuredly a fabulous job.
As I write this the available info is encouraging. Local stations say that early reports about the officer are promising. Let's hope that keeps being the case.
Let's also reflect on a couple of things. First, the young men and women who participated in the march did so peacefully.
Second, the Denver Police Department's relationship with their community is such that a rally protesting a Ferguson police officer's conduct happens as DPD provides traffic control and an escort. The only injuries that resulted were due to a traffic accident unrelated to the protest.
We protect, we serve and sometimes we get hurt doing it. In the meantime a group of young men and women get to march, and holler that one of our brother officers should be imprisoned for defending himself from a potentially deadly attack. Ironic, huh?
That's the gig.