Protesters hold third march through Parker

Youths take reins in event to highlight police misconduct, racial injustice

Nick Puckett
npuckett@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/16/20

A crowd of about 50 marched through downtown Parker June 12 in the town’s third organized Black Lives Matter demonstration in two weeks. The protesters were led by 17-year-old Jared Ingalls of …

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Protesters hold third march through Parker

Youths take reins in event to highlight police misconduct, racial injustice

Posted

A crowd of about 50 marched through downtown Parker June 12 in the town’s third organized Black Lives Matter demonstration in two weeks.

The protesters were led by 17-year-old Jared Ingalls of Parker. Ingalls has lived in Parker his entire life and wanted to bring change to the way outsiders see the town.

“We weren’t just going to be here for one night to prove a point,” said Ingalls, who attended all three of Parker’s organized protests June 4 and 7. “We’re proving a point by coming here repeatedly, time after time. The fact that people are still coming means we’re making a difference.”

The march began at O’Brien Park and made three laps around Mainstreet, the main strip in downtown Parker. The downtown area was busy, with Friday evening crowds from nearby restaurants. One Lone Tree Police officer in an unmarked car monitored O’Brien Park while a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office squad car parked at the opposite end of the park. There was an increased presence by Parker Police officers as well.

Teenagers made up most of the protesters in the third march, as they did for the second march on June 7 at Tallman Park. Ingalls noted that Parker’s Black Lives Matter movement has been championed by youths in the town — however, he said, “Everyone needs to be on board to make a change.”

Parker is about 89% white, according to 2019 U.S. Census estimates, and the crowd reflected the town’s majority white population.

Parker resident Laura Raynor, who took part in the June 12 march, said it was “heartening” to see the numbers of people who have come out to support the international Black Lives Matter movement.

“We’re acknowledging this is a problem and something has to be done about it,” Raynor said.

A crowd of about 200 marched through downtown Parker on June 4 to protest police brutality and racial injustice, part of the Black Lives Matter movement sweeping the globe. A much smaller group met at Tallman Park June 7 to walk 8.46 miles in a loop in memory of George Floyd, the man who died May 25 when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Protests broke out throughout the nation for weeks on end calling for an end to police brutality against people of color. The movement has grown to a call for an end to racial injustice in America.

Parker’s initial Black Lives Matter protest drew attention from many throughout the Denver area who know Parker as a mostly white town.

“Parker for a long time has had this negative stigma around it,” Ingalls said. “It’s had this super polarized idea behind it. When you think about people from Parker, it’s white suburbia. I just thought: ‘There’s more than that.’ And we’re more than that as a community. I wanted to show that.”

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