220 P.2d 373 (Colo. 1950), 16374, Flores v. City and County of Denver

Docket Nº:16374.
Citation:220 P.2d 373, 122 Colo. 71
Opinion Judge:STONE, Justice.
Party Name:FLORES et al. v. CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER.
Attorney:Menin & Conry, Denver, for plaintiff in error., J. Glenn Donaldson, Denver, Abe L. Hoffman, Denver, for defendant in error. [122 Colo. 72] Menin & Conry, Denver, for plaintiff in error.
Judge Panel:HAYS AND ALTER, JJ., DISSENT.
Case Date:June 05, 1950
Court:Supreme Court of Colorado
 
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220 P.2d 373 (Colo. 1950)

122 Colo. 71

FLORES et al.

v.

CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER.

No. 16374.

Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc

June 5, 1950

[122 Colo. 72] Menin & Conry, Denver, for plaintiff in error.

J. Glenn Donaldson, Denver, Abe L. Hoffman, Denver, for defendant in error.

STONE, Justice.

Shortly after seven o'clock on the evening of December 21, 1948, several police officers, who were the principal witnesses for the city as to the conduct of the defendants resulting in their arrest, went to the residence of the Governor of the State of Colorado in response to information that a group of people expected to demonstrate before the Governor's house. They testified in substance that they found a crowd of from fifty to seventy people assembled in front of the house, some merely watching and some milling around in a counter-clockwise circle on the sidewalk and lawn, chanting such phrases as, 'Governor Knous come out of the house'; 'the death of Reuben Garcia is on your shoulders'; 'clean up Golden'; 'stop beating the boys.' Some carried placards containing such statements as, 'Gov. Knous appoint a citizen's committee to investigate Golden'; 'stop the whipping of boys'; 'clean up Golden breeding house of crime'; 'we demand a full investigation of Reuben's tragic death,' and 'Mr. Gov. thousands of dollars for race tracks but only pennies for our boys.' Most of the chanting was in a high-pitched voice, more or less like a football game, but perhaps not quite so [122 Colo. 73] loud, and could be heard in the neighborhood of two blocks. This continued for approximately half an hour when the chief of police and city attorney came on the scene. After observing the conduct of the group from ten to fifteen minutes, the chief made inquiry as to who was in charge of the group and, upon being advised, requested him to have the

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group dispersed for the asserted reason that they were violating the city ordinance against loitering and disturbance. One of the leaders replied that they had agreed to continue the demonstration for an hour and had been there forty-five minutes so they only had fifteen minutes to go and they would disperse when that time was up. The chief insisted that they disperse immediately and, upon their declining to order such dispersal, the leaders and some of the others were placed under arrest and charged with violation of section 1307, article IV of the Denver Municipal Code of 1927. The several cases were consolidated for trial and all of the defendants were found guilty in the police court; thereafter appeal was taken to the county court and upon trial de novo defendants again were found guilty of violating said section and fines were assessed against them.

Numerous challenges are raised in behalf of plaintiffs in error, but the only one we deem it necessary to consider is the challenge as to the sufficiency of the evidence to support the judgment of the trial court. The applicable ordinance reads as follows:

'Section 1307. Any person who shall disturb the peace of others by violent, tumultuous, offensive or obstreperous conduct or carriage, or by loud or unusual...

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