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Denver to formally apologize for anti-Chinese riots in 1880

Denver next week will officially apologize for the anti-Chinese riot of 1880 to the Chinese American community.

According to the city, it will become the first outside of California and the sixth overall to express remorse for anti-Chinese discrimination.

The action comes one year after the city removed an offensive plaque that described Chinatown as a place with 17 opium dens where one could hit the pipe or suck the bamboo.

RELATED: Denver to “re-envision” historic Chinatown destroyed by race riot

“In the 1800s, there was a thriving Chinatown in LoDo and it was a significant part of the population. Unfortunately, there was a race riot in the 1880s and that basically pushed out the Chinese population,” said 17-year-old Kai Vong of Colorado Asian Pacific United (CAPU) to the Denver Channel.

Denverite reports the riot on Halloween, 1880 involved White men attacking Chinese following an argument. The Chinese fled, but the men caught up with a Chinese laundry worker, Look Young, and beat him to death.

The office of Mayor Michael Hancock says the ceremony on April 16th will be aimed at promoting reconciliation, inclusivity, and education around the history and culture of Asian American/Pacific Islander Coloradans.”

“It’s really amazing that Denver, even though we are not on the coast, is taking this progressive approach and issuing this apology and committing to do more for the [Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders] community,” said Joie Ha of CAPU.

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