Denver city officials and staff received an emergency alert on Wednesday afternoon that the City and County of Denver government offices in the downtown area would be closing immediately as a "proactive safety measure" related to anticipated pro-Trump protests downtown.
In Washington, D.C., Trump extremists breached the U.S. Capitol, halting the Electoral College vote to confirm Joe Biden's victory. At least one person was shot and killed, NBC News reports, and Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented a 6 p.m. curfew to prevent further violence.
"What we are witnessing today in Washington is an assault on our democracy at the U.S. Capitol, perpetrated by extremists and incited by elected leaders who refuse to accept the outcome of the presidential election," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in statement late Wednesday afternoon. "The votes have been cast and the results have been certified. But today, an attempt to thwart the democratic process by rioters occurred and the constitutional duty of the Congress has been disrupted in a way that brings shame in the eyes of the world.
"The President should immediately, publicly and unequivocally denounce the actions of his supporters, these rioters should immediately disperse, and Congress should be allowed to approve the votes cast by the Electoral College free of interference from any mob," Hancock said, "including the current occupant of the White House and his supporters."
Earlier Wednesday, in a statement just after 2:15 p.m., the mayor announced his office was "closely" watching the situation at the U.S. Capitol and the peaceful, yet growing demonstration in Denver.
"With the activities around the country and approximately 700 individuals downtown who have gathered at the State Capitol, out of an abundance of caution, I have instructed city agencies to close municipal buildings early," Hancock said. "My hope is that this situation will be resolved quickly. Pray for our nation."
Coronavirus testing sites operated by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment were also closed due to protests.
Across the city, local leaders took to Twitter to react to the news pouring out of the District of Columbia.
"This is absolutely unacceptable, and our President should get out there and tell these people to stop immediately," Denver District 5 Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer wrote. "I am heartbroken for our country. Please, if you are thinking about doing anything like this in Denver, cease your plans immediately."
Denver District 9 Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, a staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, recalled protests against racial justice that occurred earlier this year and questioned whether media coverage would report pro-Trump protests the same way.
"Let's see how the news covers this," she wrote. "Riots? Desecration of the flag? Invasion? Kidnappings? Vandalism? Destruction of Property? Disobeying lawful orders? Conspiracy? I better see ALL that language that was used all summer about peaceful protesters."
Kristina Cook, the chairwoman of the Denver Republican Party, told Colorado Politics the group did not organize any protests on Wednesday, nor was she personally aware of anyone attending them locally or in Washington, D.C.
In light of the news out of the U.S. Capitol, Cook said the Denver GOP "has no statement."