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Police drag protesters away from Palin motorcade

  • Story Highlights
  • Eight to 10 protesters dart in front of Palin's car in Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Officers grab protesters, drag them out of way of oncoming motorcade
  • Palin's vehicle passes without a problem as other protesters chant from sidewalk
  • Police prevented injuries since vehicles likely wouldn't have stopped, official says
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(CNN) -- Protesters tried to block the motorcade of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Grand Junction, Colorado, on Monday, but police dragged them out of the way.

Police push protesters out of the way of Sarah Palin's motorcade in Grand Junction, Colorado, on Monday.

The incident -- just feet from the car carrying Palin -- was captured on video by CNN affiliate KKCO-TV.

Eight to 10 protesters broke away from a larger group of demonstrators and darted into the street in front of Palin's car just after the first police motorcycles in her motorcade had passed, said Acting Chief Troy Smith of the Grand Junction Police Department.

Wearing bandanas and with their faces covered, the protesters blocked the path and held up a large banner. Officers stopped their motorcycles, grabbed the protesters and dragged several out of the path of the oncoming motorcade. Video Watch police and protesters clash »

At least two demonstrators were tackled and forced to the ground before being pulled away. One officer fell backwards into the path of an approaching vehicle but he was able to get out of the way in time.

Palin's vehicle passed without a problem as other protesters chanted on the sidewalk, about a block from a site where Palin had addressed a rally.

Smith said officers saved the protesters from injury because "the motorcade likely would not have stopped" for them. He said "we don't know what their intentions were" in trying to block Palin's motorcade.

Investigators in Grand Junction are reviewing videotapes to try to identify suspects in an "active criminal investigation," Smith said. The Secret Service is not involved in the investigation, he said.

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The protesters were members of a group called "Red Pill," Smith said.

A Web site that carried an announcement of the group's planned protest urged supporters to show Palin "that we as a community say no to war, no to corporate cronyism, and no to four more years of Bush-style leadership." It encouraged people to bring "drums, noise makers, and your strength."

CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

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