Controversy over a grand jury's decision not to prosecute a police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., spilled over into the Cortez area on Friday after three women staged a protest outside Dolores.
The grand jury's decision sparked racially charged protests from New York to Los Angeles.
A Dolores woman and her family held their protest at Colorado Highways 145 and 184 with a sign that read, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," a rallying cry for protesters in Ferguson. The local protest included Molly Cooper; her sister, Rachel; and their mother, Maggie. The three, who said they are St. Louis natives, began their protest at 12:01 p.m. Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African American, was killed Aug. 9 at 12:01 p.m., after an altercation with Wilson, who is white.
"I would love to see some local discussion, some dialogue," Cooper said in regard to the protest. "We want to raise awareness of the conflict in Ferguson."
Within minutes of starting the protest, a man and woman driving by honked in support. Then a woman in a pickup stopped to give Cooper and her family a thumbs-up.
"Come join us," Molly Cooper yelled. "We have extra signs."
Molly Cooper said she received a master's degree in social work, and suggested that her white peers be mindful that minorities are often targeted by police.
"We often get to walk away, because the color of our skin," said Molly Cooper. "We aren't harassed and bothered like minorities."
Molly Cooper's mother, Maggie, said her protesting days started when she was in college. She was opposed to the Vietnam War, and she raised her daughters to voice their grievances about injustices.
"You can't fix something until you acknowledge that it exists," she said.
Molly Cooper, who had her 6-month-old son in tow, said she was thankful for her mother's lessons to peacefully assemble. She said she started protesting with PETA at age 9, and hopes that her son follows in their footsteps.
"One person can make a difference," she said. "You just have to get up and do something."
The Cortez Journal posted a photograph of the local protest on its Facebook page on Friday afternoon, and by Monday morning, people had posted almost 430 comments about the protest.
Reaction to the post was emotional, but mixed. Some comments seemed to back Wilson, while others suggested that Wilson was a criminal and the shooting was justified. Others called the three women names and criticized the Journal for documenting the protest. A minority of comments supported the family, and a couple of posts appeared to be threatening.
Molly Cooper responded directly to a few individuals on Facebook, suggesting discussion over tea, at her expense. She eventually stopped.
"There has been lots of discussion, and some at my expense," she said.