Fort Collins, CO – Three people were arrested and one was cited after counter-protesters at a Defend the Police rally on Saturday got into a fight with police supporters (video below).
The incident began after the Defend the Police rally organized by the Northern Colorado Young Republican on Aug. 8 in front of the Fort Collins police headquarters, the Fort Collins Coloradan reported.
Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters gathered across the street from the rally, and some members of the Proud Boys were alleged to be in attendance on the pro-police side.
Afterward the pro-police rally ended, some antifa marched into a nearby neighborhood a few blocks away from the rally, according to The Washington Post.
Cell phone video was posted to social media that showed “Back the Blue” demonstrators surrounding the counter-protesters and ordering them out of the neighborhood.
Someone in the group can be heard telling the black-clad, black- masked protesters that there is a child’s birthday party nearby.
And then the police supporters surrounded the counter-demonstrators and funneled them down a cut between the houses, the video showed.
“So we are currently marching the antifa commie b—ards out of the neighborhood because nobody wants antifa in the neighborhood,” a man in a red shirt explained to the camera. “Nobody wants them here. So we’re marching them out.”
“You guys step away from the f–king houses,” someone yelled in the video.
The video showed the police supporters were fairly successful at pushing the black-clad protesters out the way they wanted them to go and then a scuffle broke out.
“Bye bye, commie scum! Bye bye, go home!” a man with a megaphone yelled. “Oh s–t, here we go.”
What started the altercation couldn’t be seen in the video, but several people claimed the antifa had attacked a man in a wheelchair seen later in the video, the Daily Mail reported.
The man with the megaphone continued making fun of the anti-police protesters as though he was a sports announcer, the video showed.
“Antifa about to get [unintelligible], oh my,” he yelled as the fight continued. “You guys came to the wrong city, boys and girls.”
“Everybody keep your hands off your weapons,” another man yelled at the people fighting. “Keep punching each other in the face, just don’t shoot anybody.”
“There ya go, there ya go!” another man cheered on the brawlers.
The video showed one of the black clad protesters picked up a water bottle and began hitting someone with it.
Another man grabbed him from behind in a bear hug and pulled him away from the person he was attacking, the video showed.
Then other police supporters jumped into the fray to help control the man in black, the video showed.
Then one of the counter-protesters was spotted with a knife and called out for it, the video showed.
“Drop the knife! Drop the knife,” somebody ordered.
“Commie drop the knife! Commie drop the knife!” the man with the megaphone yelled.
The anti-police protesters in black started pulling out of the brawl and walking away, the video showed.
“Awww, commies go home. Bye bye, bye bye,” he mocked them.
Video showed the Fort Collins police arrived on the scene as the fight was ending.
Some of the anti-police protesters tried to run but police caught up with them quickly, the video showed.
Fort Collins Chief of Police Jeff Swoboda said that there were aggressors from both groups involved in the fight and that Back the Blue and antifa were both arrested, the Fort Collins Coloradan reported.
“There were people that were looking for a fight on both sides,” Chief Swoboda said. “Seeing grown men act like this is really sad. This is not the Fort Collins that I have known for the past two years.”
“Simply throwing on an ‘I support the police’ t-shirt, but then acting like a person with no regard for the law or safety of other people — that is not support, we do not want your support and we do not need your support,” the police chief continued, according to the Fort Collins Coloradan.
“You’ll see, when arrest information comes out, (that) this was a destination for people looking to get into a fight for some,” he added.
Chief Swoboda said most of the people involved in the fight were not from Fort Collins, the Fort Collins Coloradan reported.
“Let’s not be discouraged as a community and let’s continue to work together to address big issues,” the chief said.
“Truly supporting a cause means representing its values. Committing crimes in our community is not a way to support police,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “We stand for safety, period.”
Three people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, with one getting the extra charge of illegally possessing a weapon and another also charged with resisting arrest.
A fourth person received a citation for criminal tampering but was not taken into custody, The Washington Post reported.
Fort Collins Detective Erin Feit said many of the participants in the melee had fled before police arrived so they’re asking anyone with video or information about the participants in the brawl to come forward.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: