5 arrested at Flatirons Mall during flash mob protest supporting First Nations Chief Theresa Spence
Spence hunger strike began Dec. 11
Last Updated: 139 days ago
BROOMFIELD, Colo. - Five people were arrested Wednesday night after a flash mob turned into a protest at Flatirons Crossing Mall in Broomfield.
Broomfield Police said the mall was expecting a flash mob. That's typically a group of people who assemble quickly in a public place, perform for a short time, then disperse.
In this case, the "flash mob" was a group of people protesting in support of Canadian First Nations chief Theresa Spence of Canada who has been on a hunger strike since December 11, trying to get a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper..
"A group of 60 to 75 people gathered at grand staircase inside the mall," said Sgt. Rick Kempsell with Broomfield Police. "They had drums and were chanting."
Kempsell said some store owners complained that the group was blocking access to their stores, and mall security asked the group to leave.
When the group didn't, Broomfield police were called.
Kempsell told 7NEWS most of the group dispersed when asked to leave by officers.
However, five people did not and were taken into custody, Kempsell said.
Two adult women and two adult men were taken to the Broomfield County Jail where they were ticketed for trespassing and released, Kempsell said. A fifth person, a juvenile female, was taken to the mall's security facility. She was ticketed for trespassing and released to her parents, Kempsell said.
“FlatIron Crossing worked with our local police department to ensure a peaceful scenario," said mall officials in a statement sent to 7NEWS. "Our top priority is the safety and comfort of our guests and retailers in order to preserve an enjoyable shopping experience our guests expect.”
Protestor Jordan Zamora said their group did not block the entrances to the businesses.
"The people that were blocking entrances were the mall patrons who stopped to observe us," said Zamora.
Protest supporter Susie Silversmith told 7NEWS that Native Americans gathered in a peaceful manner to support Chief Spence and raise awareness about the hunger strike.
Silversmith said she was at a similar event at Cherry Creek Mall on December 29 -- a day of solidarity with the chief.
"Security was there, but they didn't chase us out," said Silversmtih. "We went through our songs, then left."
Silversmith said the group was dancing, singing and drumming.
Video taken during the Flatirons Crossing Mall demonstration:
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