Swarm of 'armed anarchists' wielding axes and guns descend on Denver Police HQ and 'shoot fireworks at cops’

DOZENS of armed Black Lives Matter anarchists descended on the Denver Police Headquarters and damaged buildings, set fires and shot fireworks at cops. 

The mob, consisting of between 50 to 75 demonstrators, were said to be wielding numerous weapons — from axes to guns — during the incident.

Fireworks were shot at officers, an American flag and a tree outside a courthouse were set ablaze, windows were shattered and a fast-food restaurant was broken into during the unrest on Saturday, news outlets reported.

The violence comes amid heightened tensions in the US over police brutality and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of African-American man George Floyd in May after a white cop knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

But Murphy Robinson, executive director of public safety, and who is black himself, said the incident was not a civil rights protest.

He said: "It was anarchy.

"The narrative that these anarchists are marching for justice of Black lives is frankly false."

"The people that showed up last night and the anarchists that showed up last night brought weapons to the table. 

The public needs to know that you do not represent us. Stop using the color of my skin as an excuse to tear up my city

Mr Robinson said: “They had guns, they brought explosives, axes, machetes and had one intent purpose and that was to harm our officers that were there to serve in the line of duty to protect our city.

"The public needs to know that you do not represent us. Stop using the color of my skin as an excuse to tear up my city."

Less-lethal munitions such as smoke and pepper balls were used to clear the crowd of 50 to 75 people, officials said.

One officer suffered a concussion and third-degree burns, said Police Chief Paul Pazen. 

The officer was expected to recover, he said.

Mr Robinson said he was lifting a jail inmate cap that was put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to accommodate those arrested on Saturday.

Officials said they will look at state or federal laws to charge those who were arrested and will seek restitution for the damages.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock said: "We're not going to stand for their anarchy, their chaos or their mindless destruction in our city."

People in the crowd said they were protesting for a variety of reasons from efforts to defund the police department.

They are furious about a police response to a homeless camp last week and to the death of Elijah McClain who died after being stopped by police last year in the suburb of Aurora.

Today marks one year since 23-year-old McClain was arrested, put into a choke hold and given 500 milligrams of ketamine as a sedative.

Less than a week later he was dead.

Following nationwide protests for racial justice and police accountability in the wake of police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, McClains case has received renewed interest and several investigations are ongoing by federal, state and local authorities.

The unrest in Denver came a day before riots broke out in have broken out in Kenosha, Wisconsin after an unarmed black dad was shot in the back seven times by a white police officer in front of his children.

Shocking footage of the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha has sparked rioting across the state as Governor Tony Evers condemned the "excessive use of force

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