Fort Collins community joins in daily national protests

Samantha Ye, Meagan Stackpool, Serena Bettis, and Noah Pasley

In the 17 days since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer May 25, protesters across the United States refused to stay silent. 

It is no different in Fort Collins, where hundreds of community members gathered each night outside the Fort Collins Police Services station on Timberline Road to demand justice for Floyd and for all the other Black lives lost to police brutality. Smaller groups of protesters have also appeared on different street corners around Fort Collins and Loveland, at both major intersections and neighborhood roads.


Alongside the nightly demonstrations, protesters organized major marches and speaking events at Colorado State University, Old Town Square and the Poudre School District administration building. This is not stopping, as there is a Zoom discussion on Black Lives Matter June 11 organized by the Social Justice Book Club, a police brutality protest June 12, a march for change June 13 in Old Town Square and a protest around Loveland Lake June 20. 

Below, The Collegian has put together a compilation of coverage so far on these local protests and will continue to report on them via social media and

Nightly vigils outside the Fort Collins police station

by Meagan Stackpool

Members of the community gathered in front of the FCPS station to hold a candlelight vigil for George Floyd on May 29.

Supporters arrived wearing face masks and carried signs and candles. The vigil was originally scheduled for Thursday but was postponed to Friday to not interfere with the rallies in Denver. Still, about 100 people showed up in solidarity on Thursday outside the precinct, as reported by the Coloradoan.

Jazzlyn Ross, a preschool teacher and student at Front Range Community College, helped to organize the vigil in Floyd’s memory. She expressed her hope for a peaceful gathering to further their message and explained the purpose behind the vigil. 

We’re all here. This is all our country, and if something happens in a city in this country, then it happens to all of us.” -Jared Hollingsworth Deleon, co-organizer

“Our goal is not to necessarily protest,” Ross said. “I’ve been avoiding that word, but we mainly want to pay tribute to the lives that have been lost and acknowledge that families are suffering. It’s mostly about starting the conversation to end the problem rather than to react with violence.” 

Ross worked with Jared Hollingsworth Deleon, another community member, who helped organize a vigil in Denver with the rally the night before. He expressed his frustration at the events in Minneapolis and the need for action within Fort Collins. 

“I believe that people should address the Fort Collins police and make them start the reform process now before anything does happen,” Hollingsworth Deleon said. “We’re all here. This is all our country, and if something happens in a city in this country, then it happens to all of us.” 

City Park walk of solidarity 

by Serena Bettis


Hundreds gathered May 31 at the Fort Collins City Park for a walk of solidarity with Floyd’s family.

“The walk felt right for us,” said Melissa Lozano Davis, who co-organized the walk with friend Missy Splittgerber. “When we were talking earlier this week, we were feeling really frozen. You know, the body’s response, we go fight, flight, freeze, and we could feel ourselves going into freeze, so walking was really important to move our bodies.”

Lozano Davis and Splittgerber planned to walk at least one lap around Sheldon Lake, but said that participants were welcome to walk as little or much as they desired. However, a downpour started at around 4:30 p.m. just as the crowd finished the first lap, and many people dispersed. 

“We want this to be an honoring of the lives that have been lost, first and foremost,” Splittgerber said in a video posted to the Facebook event page. “We stand in honor of them, we stand in solidarity with their families. That’s the beauty of joining together, not just with our families, but with our community family, and saying ‘We stand with you, and we grieve with you, and now we walk to change so that this doesn’t happen to more families.’”

Request to City Council for permanent George Floyd memorial

by Samantha Ye

Fort Collins residents and City Council discussed overarching issues of police brutality, accountability and systemic racism locally against the backdrop of nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd at the City Council meeting June 2.

“We as youth want to tell the Fort Collins police force that we are angry, we are here and we will fight for justice; we are not going away,” resident Hana Beachy-Quick said. “We are seeking to find a long term solution to this problem. And while we know that there haven’t been major incidents in Fort Collins, we would like to see some preventative actions so nothing like this will ever happen in our community.”

Over the weekend, memorials left for Floyd outside the FCPS building were removed, to the confusion of attendees. 

Just to see the people that have come in to realize the fight and the struggle and the pain that we go through, although they’ve never experienced it and they never will, speaks volumes.” -Jamir Constance, CSU 2020 graduate

Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said he made the decision to remove items left by residents because of the poor weather and since the police were not equipped to preserve the memorial themselves. They did take photos of the memorial items, however. 

Objects like memorial posters and burned candles have been donated to the Museum of Discovery to be preserved and archived as a piece of national and Fort Collins history “for future generations years down the road to look back at ‘what did our community do during this time,’” Swoboda said. 

March from The CSU Oval to Old Town

by Meagan Stackpool

Another round of protests sparked in Fort Collins on Tuesday, June 2, after an Instagram post went viral inviting people to join in a Unity March. 

The independently organized protest began on The Oval in front of the Administration Building where there was a short speech, followed by a march to City Hall along Howes Street.

Jamir Constance, a recent hospitality management graduate of CSU, expressed why he felt it was important for a community like Fort Collins to take part in protests.

“It’s one of the nicest communities I’ve ever been in,” Constance said. “One of the whitest though and to see all these white people come out and support me and people who look like me, it’s pretty incredible. Just to see the people that have come in to realize the fight and the struggle and the pain that we go through, although they’ve never experienced it and they never will, speaks volumes.”

Organizer and CSU graduate Adam Sahakyan also expressed the need to do more beyond just protesting. He explained that, while protests are important for garnering the public’s attention, people also have to sign petitions, vote and donate. Sahakyan also requested that Colorado State University take action, stating that CSUPD and President Joyce McConnell must make a statement.

“CSU is not innocent of racism and hate,” Sahakyan wrote in a text message to the The Collegian. “We need to see what they’re going to do to back their statements up.”

Protests, speeches at Old Town Square

by Noah Pasley

Protesters met in Old Town Square June 5 to advocate for reform in the Fort Collins Police Services and the Poudre School District. Queen Johnson, a Larimer County resident, spoke on her sons’ experiences being arrested in high school due to racial discrimination from school resource officers in Fort Collins.

“To have my children taken away from me just because they are Black hurts,” Johnson said. “If y’all think what’s going on around the country cannot happen right here in your own backyards, you’re dead wrong.” 

One of Johnson’s sons, Dontre Woods, spoke against the Poudre School District Board renewing their contract with the Fort Collins Police Services. He said that police in schools do not increase safety and that they increase fear and mistrust among students of color.

“Approximately 25% of students in Poudre School District are students of color (and) nearly 50% of the students referred to law enforcement or disciplined in Poudre School District are students of color,” Woods said. “Police in schools lead to racially profiling students … (and) the criminalization of students.”

The reporters for this compilation can be reached at or on Twitter @serenaroseb, @MeaganStackpool, @samxye4 and @PasleyNoah.