Juneteenth is celebrated in Denver and around the nation

Observers took to the streets around the country Friday to commemorate Juneteenth. The holiday celebrates the day in 1865 that enslaved black people in Galveston, Texas, learned they had been freed from bondage when Union Gen. Gordon Granger entered the city to lead the Union occupation force and delivered the news of the Emancipation Proclamation, more than two years after it had become law.

This year’s observance came on the heels of weeks of protests for racial justice and against police brutality around the nation spurred by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In Denver observers marched in silence from the Martin Luther King, Jr., statue in City Park to state capitol downtown, shortly after Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a new police reform and accountability bill.