Denver Police Chief White meets with Occupy Denver protesters

8:01 PM, Dec 19, 2011   |    comments
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Monday's meeting mainly centered on the Occupy camp, which police have referred to as an "encumbrance" because they say it is blocking public right of way in Civic Center Park. White asked the Occupiers to move their tents and tarps out of the park or suffer the consequences.

About 10 Occupiers met with White behind closed doors at DPD headquarters. They were together for about 45 minutes, but that didn't seem to be long enough for both parties to agree on a long term solution for the Occupy camp.

Tim, an Occupier who declined to give his last name, says the movement has no plans to move. He said the Occupiers are exercising their First Amendment rights by being in the park.

White said police also have to look out for the rights of everyone else who uses the park and that's why that's why the camp needs to come down

"As it relates to the encumbrances, the long term goal is they have to take them down," White said. "There isn't a lot of wiggle room as it relates to that. A decision was made that it has to occur, and they were asked to do it so the city wouldn't have to do it, and they decided that they weren't going to do it. So now it's upon us to make that happen."

"I don't think it was very productive," Tim said about the meeting. "I think that he was kind of politely asking us to remove our encumbrances, but it was just force and that's not going to work with us. The mayor should grant a waiver for the City Park. It's totally within their right to do it and they'll stop wasting money."

White did not set a timetable for when DPD or Public Works might move in to clear the park. However, the chief did say he'd like to continue this dialogue with the Occupiers and would like to arrange another meeting with the Occupiers after their camp is taken down.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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