Scores of activists showed up to Denver City Council chambers Monday night demanding that their cries of frustration, anger and sorrow be heard and demanding that the group defund the city’s police department.

The typical three-minute limit for public speakers immediately went out the window.

“You are not doing enough, you are not doing enough and you are not doing enough,” one woman told the council. “And if you continue to sit by, then we will tear all this shit down.”

Conrad Swanosn

Scores of protesters overtook the Denver City Council’s meeting Monday, June 22, 2020, calling for the group to defund the police.

The council’s half-hour public comment session ended at 5:30 p.m. and just as the group sought to take up its normal agenda the crowd marched in from the hallway, demanding more time at the microphone despite brief pushback from Council President Jolon Clark, who ultimately yielded the floor.

Not only did the group demand that the council shift the cash flow from the Denver Police Department to a variety of social services, but they also demanded the resignations of Mayor Michael Hancock and District Attorney Beth McCann, as well as a seat on the police department’s Citizen Oversight Board.

While the conversation might have started during the George Floyd protests which swept Denver and the rest of the country, many spoke of 16-year-old Alexis Mendez-Perez who was shot and killed in Denver on April 24 by Desmond Manning, a Department of Corrections employee.

Conrad Swanson

Scores of protesters overtook the Denver City Council’s meeting Monday, June 22, 2020, calling for the group to defund the police.

McCann announced Wednesday that Manning would not face charges because there wasn’t enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and to prove he wasn’t acting in self defense.

But Mendez-Perez’s sister, Ivette Mendez, took to the microphone Monday night, holding back tears, and questioning how her little brother could have been considered a threat. She expressed the loss she and her family feel without Alexis with them. Many of the cardboard signs held throughout the room echoed her message: “Justice for Alexis.”

Among the other names cried out were Marvin Booker, Michael Marshall, Jessica Hernandez and Paul Childs. Each were killed by law enforcement officers, none of whom faced charges. And Alexander Landau, who was beaten by police officers who also did not face charges.

Rosie DuPree recalled Childs’ killing because she knew his family and told the council that his death made her realize that police can kill children too.

“I am a child of this city. I pay taxes in this city. I’m a business owner in this city and we need more eyes on who makes the decisions, on who trains the people who interact with our children,” DuPree said. “And if you guys don’t do it. We’re gonna (expletive) do it.”

For hours, the council sat silent, nodding their heads intermittently, listening. The group clapped, snapped their fingers in agreement and hammered pews and tables in the chambers.

Council President Jolon Clark was not in charge of the proceedings Monday night, said Lisa Calderon, spokesperson for Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca. Instead he was replaced by a frustrated and organized group.

“By demanding that council defund the police, a seat on the Citizen Oversight Board, a check on the mayor’s power and justice for police murder victims, they have just reset council’s priorities and will hold them accountable for delivering,” Calderon said.