Police Arrest Five at Metro Denver’s Third Idle No More Round Dance

Carol Berry
1/3/13

 

A Round Dance in support of the First Nations’ Idle No More movement drew security guards’ attention and police involvement at a mall in Broomfield, a community north of Denver, where four adults and a teenager were arrested for trespassing on January 2.

About 100 people, mostly Native Americans, attended the Round Dance at Flatiron Crossing Mall, said Broomfield Police Sergeant Rick Kempsell, public information officer. The event was the third support Round Dance in the Denver area during the past week.

“I think this is the first arrest [among those attending Idle No More support events] since Clyde Bellecourt’s in Minneapolis,” said Glenn Morris, a longtime activist who is on the faculty of the University of Colorado-Denver.

Attendees crowded around the mall’s grand central staircase and blocking shoppers as they tried to maneuver through the mass of people, Kempsell said. Five of the Round Dance attendees refused to move when ordered to do so by security and then didn’t leave when police told them to either, which is what led to their arrest, Kempsell said, noting that the mall is private property.

Those arrested were ticketed for trespass, a municipal ordinance violation considered a petty offense and carrying a potential penalty of up to $1,000 and a year in jail, the maximum sentence that, Kempsell agreed, is an unlikely outcome in this case.

Cheyenne Birdshead, 17, Cheyenne/Arapaho, the juvenile who was detained at a police substation at the mall and later released to a family friend, had a different take on the Round Dance event and arrests. She said police were already present when she and her friends got to the mall, and that officers and security guards were telling them to leave, so participants grouped together in a central area.

When they did try to leave, the police seemed to be trying to “arrest anyone—they almost arrested my grandmother,” she said. Police cruised parking lots and seemed to be looking for potential arrests, Cheyenne added.

The names of the four adults who were handcuffed and taken to the Broomfield detention center were not immediately available, Kempsell said, but they were two men and two women who might be ticketed and released on their own recognizance or on minimal bond if they were area residents and did not pose a flight risk.

Only one of the arrestees, a woman, was Native, according to others at the event. In addition to her and the non-Native woman, the two men detained were from Occupy Denver, they said, adding they were told the booking process could take up to three hours.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I'm sorry this had to happen at a peaceful round dance. I hope you all got out of jail, and are back with your families.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
oooh the mall troopers! lol Glad this demonstration took place. Would have liked to have been there. Looked peaceful to me.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
everyone walks by and pretends not to see, nothing has changed. they don;t want to see. They have broken every treaty ever made by the U.S., civil rights for natives is a thing i have not seen.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Would they ticket a Flash Mob? Freedom of Speech and Dance is a form of speech, especially to us Indigenous Native peoples. It doesn't matter if the arrested are Native Or Occupy, they didn't do anything wrong, so lets get the officers names instead of the people they arrested. We need to give them the proper acknowledgement for their service to the mall.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Please go to the whitehouse gov petition website and sign the petition requesting action by the Obama Administration!!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Two thoughts. First, there will be those who will always fear what they dont understand. Second, others will always try to use what they can to further their own agenda.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Two thoughts. First, there will be those who will always fear what they dont understand. Second, others will always try to use what they can to further their own agenda.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Looks like Denver Colorado and Tacoma Washington have a trait in common. It's called racism.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
INM participants were not blocking the stairway...those were customers who were enjoying the song and dance...The 1st handcuffed female just wasnt moving as fast as the officer wanted her too...the other two handcuffed females pictured only dared to ask the same officer about the 1st handcuffed female. The officer seemed to enjoy his power and authority over females too much! Totally unnecessary arrests meant to intimidate and harass!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
About time there were some arrests. There is such thing called the rule of law. If you don't obey the law, you get punished by the law. Yes, there are disputes regarding treaty rights, but there is no execuse for breaking the law.

John LaBeau's picture
John LaBeau
Submitted by John LaBeau on
So let me get this straight: A group holds a round dance which doesn't impede the people in the mall from doing what they came for, and in the publice gathering areas and they are trespassing, because some store owner didn't like it? Sounds like time to picet and boycott the stores in that mall!

John LaBeau's picture
John LaBeau
Submitted by John LaBeau on
A peaceful gathering that wasn't asking for funds, and wasn,t threatening anyone, in a pllace frequented by the public, and the police were arresting people for trespassing? No damage was done, but since Denver area police and business's don't like Native Americans, they arrested theem. BIGOTS! Violating the civil right to peacefull assembly and freedom of expression. Hate groups would be welcomed in that place as they are against anyone who not white!
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