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Colorado police investigating after car drives through crowd of protestors

Colorado police investigating after car drives through crowd of protestors
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Police in Aurora, Colo., launched an investigation on Saturday after a car drove through a crowd of demonstrators marching to protest the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old unarmed Black man who died in police custody last year.

The Aurora Police Department said in a statement that a vehicle drove through a throng of demonstrators as they were walking on Interstate 225. A protestor fired a weapon in response, hitting at least one other person, police said. That person was taken to a local hospital and is in stable condition. 

Another person arrived at the hospital with a graze wound, though it was unclear if the injury was associated with the incident, police said. Witnesses said that a third person was also injured as she tried to avoid the car's path, The Denver Post reported

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"The vehicle was towed and we are investigating that incident," the department added.  

Calls for the city to take more decisive action in response to the death of McClain have persisted in Aurora for months. McClain died last August after being stopped by three white Aurora Police Department officers as he walked home from a convenience store. The circumstances surrounding his death have gained greater attention in light of the May 25 police killing of George Floyd and the protests it sparked across the nation. 

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisColorado Gov. Jared Polis engaged to longtime partner Marlon Reis Grocery store worker slapped after asking customer to wear mask, video shows Lobbying world MORE (D) in June ordered his office to reexamine McClain's death.

Saturday's protest came as people gathered in cities across the U.S. to show solidarity with demonstrators who have clashed with federal law enforcement in Portland, Ore., in recent weeks. 

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Hundreds of protestors reportedly marched on Interstate 225 before later in the day gathering outside the Aurora Municipal Center. Aurora police late Saturday declared an "unlawful protest" after demonstrators broke the windows of a city courthouse and ignited a fire inside the building. 

Police said in a series of tweets that they were able to extinguish the fire before it spread anywhere else in the building. The department said that "while the majority of the protestors were peaceful, a group decided to hijack the message tonight and cause major damage to the courthouse and courtyard."

The unrest mirrored the tensions in cities such as Portland and Seattle, where local law enforcement declared riots. In Portland, protestors breached a fence outside a federal courthouse, prompting federal officers to deploy tear gas.