Press Release 6/5/2020 – Demonstrating in Alamosa

Due to the recent ongoing demonstrations throughout the country and specifically what has occurred in Alamosa, we felt the need to inform the community what we expect for a peaceful demonstration.  It is clear that many in our community are feeling strong emotions and fear so how we work together moving forward is important.  The City of Alamosa and the Alamosa Police Department truly believe it is important to give the community the opportunity to express their right to demonstrate; we just ask that protestors do it in a manner that does not interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Over the last week, we have identified a few areas of concerns that must be modified to ensure public safety for all. Although it is not fair to categorize every demonstrator—due to the action of one—we have noticed an increase in calls from community members who feel fearful and uncertain with the ongoing demonstrations, especially when protestors are entering traffic lanes.  While the protestor may not intend for this behavior to seem threatening or aggressive, it is very much being interpreted in that manner.

Demonstrators should not step out into the traffic lanes and crosswalks for their own safety, as well as motorist safety.  The issue that has raised concerns is demonstrators entering the crosswalk during a red light while traffic is stopped. The crosswalk is not intended for stopped foot traffic; it is for pedestrians to cross from one side to the other safely.  Vehicles still have the right-of-way to make certain turns, even on a red light.

I encourage all community members to contact local law enforcement any time anyone starts interfering with a peaceful demonstration. Alamosa is a small, tightknit community, and we may not always agree with one another, but we need to support one another especially during these trying times.

Existing ordinances to be aware of:

Obstructing; hindering transportation 11-49– (a) It shall be unlawful for any person, without legal privilege, to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:

(1)Obstruct any place used for the passage of persons, vehicles or conveyances, including but not limited to streets, sidewalks, building entrances and hallways, to which the public, or a substantial group of the public, has access, whether the obstruction arises from such person’s acts alone or in conjunction with the acts of others;

(2)Disobey a reasonable request or order to move by a police officer, or a person with authority to control the use of the premises, to prevent obstruction of a place used for such passages, or to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire, riot or other hazard.

(b)It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly and without lawful authority forcibly stop and hinder the operation of any vehicle used in providing transportation services of any kind to the public or any person.

-Time of day, amount of noise, and conduct of the individuals for demonstrations need to be reasonable and according to City Ordinance 14-71 and 11-43 (see below).

Disorderly Conduct 11-43– A person commits disorderly conduct if such person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly makes a noise which is unreasonable, by nature of content, volume, repetitiveness, hour of day or night, in a manner which disturbs or unreasonably threatens to disturb the peace of a person in a public place.

Unreasonable Noise Prohibited 14-71-Law enforcement officers are empowered to make a prima facie determination as to whether a noise is unreasonable, which determination may be based upon, but need not be limited to, a consideration of the following factors:

(1)The time of day;
(2)The size of any gathering of persons creating or contributing to the noise.

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.
Heather Brooks
Alamosa City Manager

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The City of Alamosa is a multicultural community of 9,000+ centrally located in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado. The City was incorporated in 1878 and is the gateway to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve where more than 525,000 visitors enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty each year. For more information, visit us at www.cityofalamosa.org.

 

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