Police fire mace at protesters in Denver, seven arrested

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 29, 2011 9:48 PM
Police fire mace at protesters in Denver, seven arrested

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - Police in riot gear fired pepper balls and mace into a crowd of economic protesters in Denver on Saturday and arrested at least seven after some people entered the grounds of the State Capitol, police said.

Denver Police Spokesman Lt. Matt Murray said about 2,000 demonstrators from "Occupy Wall Street" protests against economic inequality marched peacefully through downtown Denver, as they have done for the past several Saturdays.

But the situation heated up when protesters moved toward the Capitol. The Colorado State Patrol, which provides security for the statehouse, requested aid from Denver police when marchers entered the Capitol grounds, Murray said.

Someone then kicked over a police motorcycle, slightly injuring an officer, and kicked several other officers, he said. Police in riot gear moved in on the crowd, firing pepper balls and mace into the crowd, Murray said.

Murray said the seven arrests were for assault, assault on a police officer, disturbing the peace and disobeying lawful orders.

More arrests are possible if the crowd refuses to disperse, Murray said. There were no reports of any injuries to the protesters, he said.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Peter Cooney)