Kara Mason of the Aurora Sentinel relays a shocking outburst from former GOP Congressman now Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman this morning, following a day and night of continuing protest yesterday over the police killing of Elijah McClain. We’ve added a paragraph break because, well, it’s an angry rant without any paragraph breaks:
This morning I went over to the Aurora municipal complex to survey the damage from last nights violence. From the report that I received late last night, approximately 600 individuals attended the protest was over about 150 stayed behind. Those who remained sought to bait the police into a confrontation and to destroy as much public property as possible. The focus of their main effort was on the destruction of our court house where they managed to tear down the plywood protecting the large glass windows and smashed through all but one on the south side of the building.
Make no mistake about it, the ones who remained behind were not protesters but domestic terrorists and they must be treated as such. [Pols emphasis] I understand that our police department chose to show restraint last night by not using nonlethal munitions but now that these terrorists smell weakness, my concern is that they will be back again and again until they achieve their goal. Tomorrow, I will request a briefing on the incident by the interim Chief of Police to myself and the members of our city council and I will be asking why our court house was not adequately defended.
Labeling the protesters, or at least the faction of protesters who destroyed public property in Aurora demonstrating for as-yet undelivered justice in the case of Elijah McClain as “domestic terrorists” is a major rhetorical escalation for Mayor Mike Coffman. Coffman has tried to straddle a line between sympathy over an objectively outrageous death in police custody that technically occurred before he became Mayor, and Coffman’s conservative “law and order” image as a former Marine and Republican congressman.
The mayor of Aurora calling protesters in Aurora “domestic terrorists” is rightfully worrisome to residents of that city given the current President’s use of the same language to justify sending federal forces into the streets of other American cities. Especially coming from a former Republican Congressman who fiercely defended the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention center.
You may wish to let that sink in for a moment.
With all of these discomforting facts in mind, you might take comfort from the development that a short while later this morning, Mayor Coffman’s statement calling protesters in his city “domestic terrorists” was deleted and replaced:
— Kara Mason (@karanormal) July 26, 2020
That’s a relief, we guess, but as they say, you can’t really delete anything once it’s in the wild.
The people of Aurora just got a flash of how Mayor Mike Coffman really feels.