Police in Denver committed a mass shooting

While trying to shoot a man in the back, police also managed to hit five bystanders.

Denver police officers stand outside of McGregor Square to keep people moving down the street as fan...
Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

More often than not, police do not stop a mass shooting. In Denver over the weekend, they actually started one. According to the Denver Post, police in the Lower Downtown area opened fire to stop a man who allegedly pulled a gun. They managed to shoot five bystanders in the process.

According to the police account of the incident — which is always suspect and often inaccurate — a young man involved in some sort of altercation outside a bar “lifted up his hoody as though he was armed with a handgun.” Officers approached him, and he started to walk away while reaching for his waist “in a motion consistent with pulling out a firearm.” One could probably describe this as a motion consistent with tucking in your shirt, too, but cops assumed he was pulling out a gun.

One officer, who said he “was in fear for his life,” claimed the man “pointed the firearm in their direction,” so the officers opened fire on the man despite the fact that he had his back turned to them. They hit the man, as well as five other people who were also on the crowded street. Everyone, including the allegedly armed man, survived the shooting.

The Denver Police’s official Twitter account described the event as an “officer involved shooting” that sent “multiple victims” to the hospital, but failed to note that the cops were the only ones who fired their guns. The account dutifully reported that no officers were harmed, which, no shit.

People on the scene described things a bit differently than the cops’ story. One witness speaking with the Denver Post reported watching officers follow a man and shoot him, but he said he never saw the man flash a gun or even suggest he was armed, and he didn’t hear the cops give any warnings before they opened fire. Another witness also said she never saw a gun other than the ones fired by the police.

When the dust settled, five people were hit by police bullets and not a single shot was fired back at them. In an effort to protect themselves from a threat that appears now to be questionable at best, the Denver Police committed a mass shooting against the community they are supposed to protect. But hey, no officers were harmed in yet another “officer involved shooting.”