Greene: That time a Denver cop made up excuses to handcuff a reporter

Tina Griego – my colleague who’d normally edit this column – suggested that I calm down and sleep on it before writing.

Find your grounding, she urged me over the phone Thursday on one of her rare days off from our news desk.

That, of course, was sound advice that would have been workable but for the fact that I find my grounding by writing and I’m also so through-the-roof angry that I won’t sleep without having pounded my keyboard about my run-in with a Denver police officer.

It started with the sight of a black man, handcuffed and seated naked on a Colfax Avenue sidewalk across from the Statehouse, his private parts covered only with a small towel, while several Denver police officers stood around him.

As a journalist, I probably would have stopped in any case. But in this particular case, there was context for my interest. It stems partly from the fact that Denver sheriff deputies stood around the limp, lifeless body of Marvin Booker, a homeless, black street preacher, after they killed him in Denver’s jail in 2010. And it also stems from officers similarly having stood around Michael Marshall, a mentally ill, homeless, black man, after having fatally restrained him in 2015.

Given Denver’s history of uniformed officers harassing, hurting, or killing folks, sometimes without offering them medical help, it is part of my job to take notice of any questionable treatment of people in law enforcement’s custody.

That’s what I did Thursday when I was driving on Colfax and wondered why police were standing around a man they’d handcuffed and had sitting butt naked on the sidewalk without taking efforts to at least cover him up.

I parked and was using my iPhone to shoot pictures of the scene when Denver Police Officer James Brooks, badge No. 07030, blocked me, then got in my face and told me to stop. I said it was a public sidewalk and that I had the right to take photos. He said I didn’t. I said I did, citing the First Amendment. Officer Brooks tried to one-up me, all legal-like, by saying I was violating the man’s HIPAA rights by shooting his picture.

I wanted to say that was absurd.

I also wanted to say I was less interested in photographing the naked man than in photographing the officers standing around him who seemed to be shooting the breeze while I drove by.

But I decided to stop talking and to start shooting photos of this particular officer using his height and weight, his Denver Police uniform and his Cracker-Jack-brand legal poppycock to try to intimidate me.

As it turns out, Officer Brooks didn’t like having his picture taken. After accusing me of blocking the door of an ambulance that had been called to the scene – toward which he had prodded me during our encounter – and saying something about me obstructing officers, he grabbed me and twisted my arm in ways that arms aren’t supposed to move. At some point in the blur, either he or Officer Adam Paulsen, badge No. 08049, locked one or maybe two pair of handcuffs on my wrists, tightly, and pushed me toward a nearby police car by grabbing my arms hard enough – and with a painful upward thrust – that I told them to stop hurting me. Their response: That I was hurting myself by resisting.

But I wasn’t resisting. Not even close.

I had heard from my work reporting on several excessive force cases troublesome accounts of police injuring arrestees, yet claiming they injured themselves. But to hear it first-hand, uttered obviously for the benefit of whoever might some day review the body-camera footage, was infuriating. So infuriating, in fact, that now would be the point in this column where I might want to add a flourish like “fucking pig” and hope that Tina would let me get away with it (she probably wouldn’t).

My flourishes wouldn’t stop there. I’d have plenty of colorful things to write about the moment when the officers were pushing me toward the police car and one of them – Officer Brooks, I think – told me to “act like a lady.” Or maybe it was “try to act like a lady.” In any case, I’m curious to hear, after reviewing the body-cam video, Denver police officials explain how exactly a woman should behave on a perp walk after having been blocked from doing her job, obstructed from exercising her First Amendment rights, handcuffed and otherwise manhandled by an ignorant and over-amped police officer and his sidekick.

I’m also curious to see whether this incident will be addressed by Mayor Michael Hancock, who has promised reforms in his wayward Safety Department more times than I care to count. It’s worth noting that in May Hancock made an appearance at the Denver Press Club extolling the value of having a free and “unfettered” press covering the city. 

I made sure to be as ladylike as possible in a letter I sent the administration Thursday evening requesting, under Colorado’s Open Records and Criminal Justice Records acts, documents and recordings about the arrest of the naked man and about my own treatment. I also asked for details about whether Officer Brooks had training on First Amendment rights in case maybe he missed that day of police academy.

Note: As of Friday afternoon, police had offered no information except to say that the incident was a “medical call” and that the man in question – whom they wouldn’t identify – had been transported to the hospital without being arrested. I asked why he had been handcuffed, and department spokesman Jay Casillas said he didn’t know. “That I can’t tell you. I wasn’t there. It was a medical call,” he said in an account that seems curious given the message about “indecent exposure” I saw on the screen from the back of the police car.

Apparently at the urging of someone on the other end of his cell phone, Officer Brooks released me from the car, unhandcuffed me and let me free after what was probably 10 minutes, but seemed like longer.

I’ve been wondering since then what would have happened if I weren’t white or a journalist, or if I hadn’t mentioned those pesky “public sidewalk” and First Amendment details, or if this hadn’t gone down in broad daylight, right across the street from the state Capitol, and within view of body cameras, halo cameras and onlookers.

It has been nagging at me, the thought of Officer Brooks riding off on his motorcycle with his chip on his shoulder and legal misinterpretations in his head, his scripted “I’m-not-hurting-you, you’re-hurting-yourself” prevarications, and his apparently strong convictions about maintaining appropriate gender roles in incidents of police misconduct.

So I called Denver Police Department’s District 6 and spoke with Sgt. Shawn Saunders, who supervises Officer Brooks. He said he’d look into the incident and make sure the halo camera footage and other evidence are preserved for review. He gave me the option of filing a formal complaint against Officer Brooks. I told him I’d consider it, but that I don’t have a lot of confidence in Denver’s disciplinary system, which I’ve seen slap officers on the wrists for misconduct far more serious than this, only to have the Career Service Board side with the police union and overturn even the most meager disciplinary measures.

To that, Saunders offered a response that was at once striking yet maddening in its candor.

Yeah, he told me. “I don’t have a lot of confidence in it, either.”

Editor’s note: Because Tina Griego is taking a few days off, Mike Littwin edited this column.

Photos of Thursday’s incident, with Officer James Brooks at center, and of Susan’s handcuff marks, both by Susan Greene.

A recovering newspaper journalist, Susan reported for papers in California and Nevada before her 13 years as a political reporter, national reporter and metro columnist at The Denver Post. “Trashing the Truth,” a series she reported with Miles Moffeit, helped exonerate five men, prompted reforms on evidence preservation and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative journalism. Her 2012 project, “The Gray Box,” exposed the effects of long-term solitary confinement. The ACLU honored her in 2017 for her years of civil rights coverage, and the Society of Professional Journalists honored her in April with its First Amendment Award. Susan and her two boys live with a puppy named Hymie whom they’re pretty sure is the messiah.

84 COMMENTS

  1. It seems that we have an epidemic in this country of cops who think they can make up laws whenever they want. And for some reason, those in power think that is just fine. Cops act like a gang now days, and that’s just not acceptable in what is SUPPOSED to be a free society.

    Since WHEN is it illegal for a REPORTER to be taking pictures of much of ANYTHING? This cop needs a major attitude adjustment. This is BULLYING under the guise of authority, and that’s just gang behavior. It SHOULD be dealt with harshly, but it won’t. We don’t punish cops for ANYTHING, anymore, with rare exceptions. We SHOULD. Until they are held accountable, we are NOT a nation of laws at all, and we should stop calling ourselves that. It’s a lie.

  2. I agree completely with Will Morrison’s comments.

    I also wonder if the “Stop resisting” phrase that cops routinely use while bullying, manhandling, or beating up the person they’re talking to is taught to them in police academies or is that from the union’s lawyers?

    While recognizing that there are many good cops, there are far too many out-of-control cops country-wide.

    The police unions stand up for these bad cops when they should be disciplining them to hold up the reputation of their departments and all uniformed officers.

    Police unions are not only ruining the reputation of police officers, but they are ruining the reputation of labor unions.

  3. Thanks Susan. That cop messed with the wrong woman yesterday. I’m sure this happens all the time to people who do not have your access to the media. So, that makes it vitally important that you continue to do your job. I applaud your bravery.

  4. I also had a bad experience with Denver cops, the upshot being that I don’t go “down to Denver” any more, I don’t do business in Denver. Maybe they don’t miss my business, but Denver should.

  5. I do hope you will follow up with a formal complaint, then continue with a false arrest suit (or at least a legal eagle’s threatening letter). While disciplinary action against individual officers may not result, another legal action may contribute to the eventual recognition among police officials, city attorneys and even elected officials that what is currently in place as training is insufficient in setting a culture of respect for citizen (and press) rights.

  6. We may get a feel for how the new Chief of Police handles this kind of issue. I hope for the best.

  7. PS … HIPAA restricts sharing of health information.

    Of course, guides to HIPAA specifically point out:
    Who Is Not Required to Follow These Laws

    Many organizations that have health information about you do not have to follow these laws.

    Examples of organizations that do not have to follow the Privacy and Security Rules include:

    Most law enforcement agencies

    For additional detail about how Officer Brooks has no clue about the function of HIPAA, readers can consult
    https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/guidance-materials-for-consumers/index.html

  8. Terry, Will, and Susan. If any one of you could show me where the good cops are; the one’s who would stand against the actions of this punk with a badge, I’d give you a gold star, shake your hand, and thank you. Problem is, you’re not going to be able to show me. Why you ask? Because for the last good number of years, American POlice have been taking free trips over to the terrorist state of Israel by way of the ADL and JINSA so they can receive training from the IDF on how to deal with Americans the way they deal with the Palestinians. How else can one explain why American pigs have killed over 1,000 Americans in each of the last 3 years? What else could be behind their callous disregard for the rights of the people they’re supposed to ‘serve and protect’? And in case you haven’t heard, in Warren v. District of Columbia, the POlice are under no legal obligation to protect individuals or their safety. So why are they there? What purpose do they serve? The answer is pretty simple. Every town, city, county, state, state agency, federal agency & the federal govt as a whole are corporations, and any corporations’ main objective is to provide profits to their share-holders. Don’t believe me? Look up the ‘Organic Act’ of 1871 where the United States Corporation was founded in the District of Columbia. And if we look at the actions of the CIA, FBI, NSA, DHS, TSA, BATF, BLM and all these other alphabet soup agency’s that aren’t even supposed to exist under our Constitution, doesn’t the word OPPRESSION come to mind???
    If that’s just a bridge too far for you and you need to keep it simple, I suggest you at least take a look at the following clip, then look into Wolfgang Halbig and his recent bombshell discovery regarding Sandy Hook. https://youtu.be/Gb9rgo6RDuc

  9. Your an idiot. Get a real job and leave guys who put their lives on the line everydaya alone. Take a cold shower….something. Leave the cops alone. Or go live in a country where you don’t need protection. A few bad cops ….and your misplaced frustrations….and boy – got a story! You’re an ass.

  10. You have every right to film anything in public. Your filming cannot obstruct officers and you can be asked to back off a off you distance (which you should do) Many courts have already ruled on thhis. Write everything down, get a good attorney and bring charges against the police officer and department. Settle out of court and collect a check unless you want to make a point.

  11. Frankly, I don’t agree with the actions of the officers, but I am also fed up with arrogant self-serving reporters that could probably tell the needed story from 30 feet farther away and avoid the personal confrontation that this turned into. Instead, we know, effectively, nothing about the event on the street and, instead have to listen to someone make the story about themself. That’s pretty pitiful. Over the years as reporters have felt the need to manufacture as much emotion and sensationalism into this stuff as possible in their eternal pursuit of personal glory and “gosh……. Maybe a Pulitzer”, they have lost common decency and sense as well. Well, enjoy your glory, Ms Greene……………..(gag)

  12. Did you think the police took off his clothes. The policeman had a right not to have you in the way and not in his face. You can take pictures just as well from 10 yards away. Stop being a public nuisance. I hope you do some jail time.

  13. In your rush to hate the police, please consider that poor and most likely mentally ill person sitting naked on the sidewalk. Was the lessening of whatever shred of dignity he had left by photographing him worth this story? Your bias is made obvious by the way you described the situation you attempted to film, as if that poor man was somehow in need of protection from the fourth estate when most likely he just needed to be hospitalized and evaluated by mental health professionals.

    Police many times overstep their authority, but I think the initial reaction from the office was appropriate. There was no “need” to film this poor man and you know it. Just because you have a right doesn’t mean it was proper.

  14. The fact that the arresting officer cut you lose is prima facie evidence that he knows he did something wrong and that can be used as evidence in your civil suit against ET AL.

  15. To answer Will Morrison’s question, “Since WHEN is it illegal for a REPORTER to be taking pictures of much of ANYTHING?” Reporters, journalists in general, are not a special privilege class of citizen. No where in the Constitution of the United States of the Bill of Rights does it state that they are. The First Amendment is for the citizenry, not some specialized, exclusive group. It is written as “the press” (individual citizen) and not as “the Press” (for-profit corporations). In olde English, capitalization was very important to note. The Founders were well aware of the propaganda capabilities of the latter. That is why they were sure that the importance of Free Speech was cemented for the People. So Mr. Morrison, journalists and professional photographers don’t have special privileges endowed to them. It is only implied by errant folks, such as yourself.

  16. Will Morrison: “It seems that we have an epidemic in this country of cops who think they can make up laws whenever they want.” The U.S. Supreme Court essentially gave its blessing to this behavior in the Heien v. North Carolina decision a few years ago.

  17. When the government is criminally corrupt like the FBI, then local law becomes corrupt and an enemy of the people. Hense, what you see here and all over America. We call it the blue line of corruption.

  18. So, you were given a chance to have your hand held through the process of filing a formal complaint, and you refused? I know it probably wouldn’t have made any difference, but the only way to deal with pigs like this is to build a record. So, you bleat on “social media” instead?
    And – just curious – what difference does it make that the guy they’re dealing with on the sidewalk is a “man of color?” One of the pigs is also a “man of color.” Does THAT make a difference, too?

  19. For such a fairly normal everyday occurrence in the city (the arrest), the cop sure seemed to act suspiciously, like something was not right and he went out of his way to block the reporter from recording it. Was there anything more to the original arrest? Was he just sensitive to being seen arresting a person of color? Or was just a rotten apple?

  20. Cops have a tough job to do. They deal with some of the worst people that are privileged to walk among us on a daily basis. Try walking A few tours in their shoes before crying a river about how you were treated. You have no idea what transpired before you came on the scene with your sense of outrage, prejudgement and entitlement.

  21. So if you were lying down on the street naked would you want some cracker jack taking photos and posting it on the internet? No, you wouldn’t, and that’s exactly what you did. You are a class A jerk for doing that. It doesn’t matter if his face is not visible he is likely still identifiable to some people. Yes, you have the right, but yes you are a big fat jerk for doing so.

    You stuck your nose into this business and made this incident more difficult for the police officers. In my opinion, they were right to tell you to stop taking photos or video of the naked guy.

    It is plainly evident that you have negative bias against all of the individual police officers present at this arrest even though these may be really good officers and people. I feel pretty confident your version of the story is also biased against the officers.

    In addition to being a jerk, you are really annoying too. Imagine having someone who is very negatively biased against you standing there taking pictures of your every move just waiting to take some little thing out of context and make you look like a bad person. I can only imagine what you were saying to them and the looks on your face.

    The fact that you were over by the ambulance coupled with your general annoyance more than legitimizes your temporary custody while they get their work done. I don’t care if you say “they pushed me over there” you were ultimately responsible for being there in the first place. It’s really amazing what police officers have to put up with. Not only do they have the fear every day of being randomly shot in the face when they walk up to a traffic stop or domestic dispute, they also have to put up with whining, annoying, jerks like you.

  22. Police and other specialists are taught to grab the the arm or wrist or chain of handcuffs and to use this leverage to lift the hands and arms of the person to be controlled…try it yourself…have some hold both your wrists from behind and have them lift them upward…the pain / pressure will shove your upper body into a bent over position and if pushed very high, your head will be the level of your knees unless you fall down…this taught as CONTROL TACTICS an many would be warriors love to use “control by pain ” methods to very abusive levels…over aggressive ? very many ” thugs ” wear badges as ” right to inflict ” not Protect and Serve

  23. Let’s reverse roles here…what if a black guy (maybe he’s a journalist, but does it really matter?) stopped his vehicle and got out and started filming a mentally ill naked white woman on the sidewalk covered only with a small cloth?

    Where would the outrage lie then?

    God bless law enforcement – they’re in a no-win situation in almost everything they do these days.

  24. There has been so much manufactured outrage for the past 18 months or so that I simply don’t care to read about a “journalist” getting cuffed up. A few years ago I probably would have been interested, but between wholesale fake news, hatred towards police, hatred toward people who simply disagree and the never ending drumbeat of media/celebrity types airing out grievances hour by hour I’ve just decided to hell with it and to hell with them.

  25. You lefties need to learn to respect authority. When Law Enforcement, hint, authority, tells you to move on and quit taking pictures with your little play camera, DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD TO DO. You would have been booked, if it had been up to me. I’m glad it upset you. Now, learn from your ignorance and please try to act lady like!

  26. Cops deal with liars,crazy people and criminals ALL DAY LONG. The hate the public and I am pretty sure I would too. If a cop tells me to move I move. Go find something else to whine about

  27. I believe the only way to put an end to these abuses is to change the law so that when a law enforcement agency is sued for abusing their authority, whether by bullying, or arresting, up to unjustified killings, any monetary award must be paid out of the retirement fund for that law enforcement agency. When the good veteran cops realize they could be retiring without a pension due to the actions of a few bad cops, they’ll police their own ranks pretty darn quickly.

  28. You’re part of the problem by complaining but not filing a formal complaint, regardless of your expected outcome. The records are needed in the case an investigation is elevated beyond the Denver police. The longer you wait to make the complaint, the less believable it is.

  29. It’s just what you gimme people need. We need more cops like this. I know it’s tough and the hand cuffs hurt. I think they have some cuffs that have velvet that would be a lot better for your tender skin.
    I just emagine your kind of reporting.

  30. Your job is to comply with the instructions of a police officer. If you have a complaint ask him to give you a citation and take it up with a judge and not with a police officer. If you presented yourself similar to your article than it must have been difficult for the officer. He is putting his life on the line , unlike yourself , his whole working day. You paint all police officers with the same brush and you have written your article to make yourself feel better. It was not written to inform citizens but to make yourself feel better. I am not a police officer but I have never been treated by an officer except in a respectful manner . You appear to have a bad attitude toward police officers and you are a known offender. Semper Fi.

  31. Another good reason to stay out of big cities. All of them if possible. I driver an extra 50 miles if I have to.

  32. I’m not hear to defend the police, but what type of preconceived bias does a reporter have saying; “when a man of color is sitting naked and handcuffed on a sidewalk, with nothing but a hand towel over his private parts, and several police officers are standing around him chatting, it’s worth taking notice.” It’s obvious that the naked person on the ground has issues and it appears that the police and EMT’s were trying to help him. What were you thinking covering this story? That the police did something wrong to the guy? And yes, the police were absolutely wrong to handcuff the reporter. But after reading the article, I have little confidence in objective journalism here.

  33. We’re only reading one side, in todays world, it really helps to have video proof of something like this. Not saying it didn’t happen this way, but to utilize your powerful professional media tools to disclose your side with no proof, I’d say thats bordering irresponsible. While there are some bad apples, most Officers of the law put their lives on the line every day to protect.

  34. The President of the United States has identified the press as “the enemy of the American people,” and purveyors of “fake news.”

    This stalwart officer was merely following his president, who would like to see many more reporters locked up.

  35. They teach these cops to do this at the academies (e.g.- “you’re hurting YOURSELF”, “He’s reaching for a gun”-with six cops on top of perp,”I feared for my life”-after shooting someone 17 times). Imho, if soldiers doing a night raid in Afghanistan can’t shoot an unarmed man 17 times without being punished (they would be), then cops shouldn’t be able to either…

  36. WTF….Joe Sef
    Can you say “ conspiracy whack job”
    Too many laced brownies & spliffs at work with this tool
    If it was a white guy in the same situation…..she’d just keep driving but since it “may” be a race base issue NOW THATS NEWS …..real or invented
    Just saying!!!

  37. WTF….Joe Sef
    Can you say “ conspiracy whack job”
    Too many laced brownies & spliffs at work with this tool
    If it was a white guy in the same situation…..she’d just keep driving but since it “may” be a race base issue NOW THATS NEWS …..real or invented
    Just saying!!!
    Let’s keep it fake

  38. COPS are trained to lie to defend their BS. I’ve spoken with many EX police and sheriff officers who left based on the BS they themselves have witnessed to save another cop from going to jail. It’s indeed a brotherhood of lying for each other.

  39. I have lived in New Zealand for 7.5 years now and the difference between the police in the two countries is remarkable. NZ police are much more like “Officers of the Peace” (what we used to think U.S. police were like), not “Law Enforcement Officers”. The cop shows over here show police routinely handling drunk drivers and highly disrespectful and verbally abusive and even some minor people with amazing patience and non-existent or minimal physical force. People in the U.S. would be shot most likely if they acted like that to the police. That said, the trend you experienced first-hand is taking place all over the western world, NZ is just 30+ years behind the U.S. in the way the cops behave (thankfully). More broadly: There are no actual rights or constitutional protections for average people of any race or sex and this change has been relatively subtle but going on for well over 100 years so that the U.S. would not be recognisable to people from 100 years ago and this change is accelerating.

  40. I am a white professional who has been a law-and-order type forever but unfortunately found myself in a position to experience the unnecessarily machismo posture of a police officer and saw their cynical tricks first hand. Along with the drafting of a police report that his own dash cam could not support. (Be mindful of an officer who marches you away from the dash cam – nothing good follows.) A cover up followed with the help of the union and senior officials who lied repeatedly to my attorneys about my rights and access to evidence. Yes, you get the distinct impression that this is (a) coached in advance and (b) far from uncommon. This report has the ring of truth to it.

  41. I think the police should have followed up and taken this obstructionist to jail. She sounds like a career cop hater with no good intentions from the time she got out of her car.

  42. sounds like race had nothing to do with it and the cop was frustrated that your were painting him to be bigoted from the beginning. It sounds like(from your own description) that you were racist against the police from the beginning because of your Past experiences and the demographics involved, there was already prejudice at play in your mind.(which you attempt to “whitesplain” over to gain sympathy for the victim you are attempting to paint yourself as). It very well could have been the officer trying to protect the nude man from having his naked image used without his permission. similar to revenge porn laws.

  43. Sounds like a person with a cell phone wanted to exploit a naked homeless man and the police officer was a decent person that didn’t want that to happen. On a separate note, what kind of a publication would title an article ‘That time a…’? Reading this article was like listening to the ramblings of a 14 year old girl. You are not journalists and this is not a real publication. After your link to Drudge expires You will once again be irrelevant.

  44. This article reads like a second grade book report, and furthermore, is so full of unnecessarily derisive remarks about law enforcement officers that it makes me extremely dubious as to how much of this story is being spun to vindicate this reporter’s own angst towards police officers. Nice to see you have your own little cadre of kneejerk commenters who hate cops too, and that’s fine, but don’t expect me to buy too deeply into your story.

  45. This story is out now; because lying liberals want to insinuate Pres Trump instigated this against media, by telling the truth. what a..holes.

  46. is it kind of strange that LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS find ways to skirt the law? i went to one of the “law enforcement classes” in my area that they give to the officers and it was taught by a jag (military lawyer}.

    having taken other classes and almost with a paralegal degree at that time i was astounded at the fact that the instructor told the officers in the class how to skirt the law. your tax dollars at work teaching officer how to violate the law made by the government that made the law to protect the people!!!

    i am now a elderly white person and witness the violations of constitutional law against the general population.

  47. Having read your article via a link through the Drudge Report, and seeing the mass of idiotic statements from so-called conservatives (who I suspect, followed the link to your story…) I just wanted to offer my two cents as a humble conservative.

    What happened to you – what you reported happened and I have no reason to doubt you – is despicable and unacceptable. I really don’t care if you are a “dyed-in-the-wool socialist” (as one esteemed Solon wannabe put it). You, and I, and every other citizen of America are guaranteed the right of free speech via the First Amendment. And I will fight to preserve that right even though – ESPECIALLY IF – I disagree with you politically.
    I am disheartened by the caveats that many seem to attach to your right to film, report, and otherwise exist in public. The First Amendment does not cease to exist if someone has a medical issue in public. As you rightfully pointed out, the Officer attempted to misuse authority to bully you. This is shocking, 6 days after we celebrate the Independence of this country from this exact kind of thuggery.
    I strongly encourage you to file a complaint. I strongly encourage you to boldly continue to do your job. I strongly support your outright anger at the insanity and force displayed by a government, or any government, against a peaceable citizen.

  48. Joe –
    If you’ll look at my comment, I don’t say there are any good ones. At this point, considering how INCREDIBLY RARE it is for one of them to stand up against the rest, I don’t think there are any actual GOOD cops left, if there ever were.

    Remember Serpico? There is a reason that was such a rare story. Even back when that came out, cops didn’t go against each other. And that was before the union. Now that they have that standing up and supporting their every move, they are invincible. They carry guns, sticks, tasers, are body armored to the hilt and STILL they insist that we are causing THEM to be afraid for their lives. But yet WE’RE not supposed to be afraid of THEM? Doesn’t seem terribly reason able.

    They are treating us like an occupied country, and for some reason this seems just fine with huge sections of the populace.

    The training cops get now seems entirely out of line with anything but an occupying force, and that’s why they are having these shoot first moments all over the country.

    Until we start making THEM pay for the results of their lawsuits instead of us, nothing is going to change. They have to be held accountable for their actions just like we are. In fact, with their cover of authority, they should have HIGHER standards than we do. Double or triple sentences for crimes, and ACTUAL investigations, NOT done by the friends and shop mates of the accused has to be a central point of that, of course.

    Since 9-11, cops are given free reign to do anything to “keep us safe”. What a cowardly attitude, it makes me sick to see it in this country. Home of the brave? RIGHT! It’s far braver to hold those who do wrong accountable than to let them run free for fear they’ll come after you.

    Trust me, there is no love lost between the cops and me. Never has been, never will be.

  49. So many contradictions in this narrative that clearly a lot of it is fake and hyperbolic. For example one place she writes the man was covered with a towel, and another place that he was fully naked. The reporter obviously has a huge ideological bias and a cultural leftist agenda to grind, and her report sometimes sounds like an activist screed. It is clear that her view is clouded with a neo-Marxist and postmodern ideology. The reference to “white” and the generalization that ALL police officers have a history of police brutality just betrays her orthodoxies. And why does this Colorado publication hire such ideological and biased people as “reporters” – aren’t journalists not supposed to report matter with dispassion and fairness?

  50. Bad American cops act like they are part of a Soviet, or Great Leap Forward, or Khmer Rouge Killing Fields police state National Socialist Workers Party. Film them. They are your servants. Uppity State employees are a plague upon humanity. We need to fire all of the surly, Constitution-hating parasites on public payroll.

  51. Pretty one sided story. Sorry not buying it and neither is anyone else without a pre-existing animous toward the police you so blatantly and colorfully expressed. This is not journalism, this is blogging. This is why people no longer respect journalists. Please resign and save whatever little credibility this publication has intact.

  52. Filing a formal complaint is important, even if it does not bring you the immediate justice that might remedy your mistreatment.

    The complaint acts as a paper trail for officers with repeated incidents of citizen mistreatment… most are not caught in there first assault.

    Citizen review boards frequently see non-sanctioned officers with 8-9 virtually IDENTICAL incidents of mistreatment on their records before one is caught with overwhelming compelling evidence or an unassailable witness.

  53. So Tommy Robinson languishes in gaol for commiting the same act as the reporter in this story; thousands demonstrate on his behalf and there is ZERO media coverage. Watch, once Soros pumps in a few hundred thousand for paid protesters and gives the media their marching orders this concocted so-called “story” will be front and center for weeks.

  54. I know this is only one side of the story by a reporter who obviously has a chip on her shoulder. But even if it is true, why in light of all the fake news that con only be regarded as an abuse of their First Amendment rights by so-called main stream journalists should we support them. They do not support law abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights when a few criminals abuse those rights. They don’t support Christians’ First Amendment rights either, so by what logic should we support their right to make up news stories to promote their political agendas? What goes around comes around.

  55. This is written by a reporter. Couldn’t read vast the gist 10 sentences. What a load! Snowflake writing irrelevant garbage.

  56. Why do I get the feeling that MAGA would make her recoil like a Vampire from crucifix? I can only imagine how I would cope with trying to corral naked black men as part of my job description.

  57. It’s been going on for years. This, and far worse.

    It starts with the vulnerable. The out-groups. No one cares about them, so that’s fine.

    Then it just becomes SOP. By the time it happens to people with a platform, people with resources… it is entrenched.

    Me today; you tomorrow.

    Try speaking to the bottom 50 percent sometime. They might not want to discuss it. They’re too accustomed to being told “that doesn’t happen here”. “We’re a civilized society.” So they might not feel like discussing it. Remember #MeToo? People wanted to know why they didn’t come forward, why they didn’t say something. And yet they did. The victims told bosses, agents, they filed police reports.

    No one listened. Because they didn’t want the happy narrative to be broken.

    A journalist could earn several Pulitzers by finding out what really goes on as a matter of course in that America the bottom half has been regulated to, if only they had the ears to hear it.

    It’s amazing, the things that go on in a culture that refuses to believe the good guys are identified by good actions, rather than TEAM identity. It’s almost as if telling ourselves it can’t happen here is the very soil in which the worst of human nature thrives.

    I’m sorry this happened to you. It was wrong. I hope this becomes a world where doing wrong matters because people matter, and not just because you’re a person of education, resources and with a platform to whom they can’t get away with it.

    Everyone matters, or no one does. I want to live in only one of those worlds.

  58. Police union trolls trying to convince readers that what happened did not happen don’t get the fact that the police prevented a reporter from reporting by using physical force.

    Police states everywhere just LOVE that. After all, shouldn’t all citizens and all reporters REPORT TO the police? Only in countries filled with snowflakes would the police have to report to the citizens!

  59. I’m a freelance journalist, and I also have a job working with people with developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and mental health issues. If I came upon the scene Ms. Greene photographed, I admit I’d be conflicted. Journalists certainly have the right to speak and a free press, and in many states, the right to record police actions on a public street. However, I’d consider the rights of the man in crisis, who may not have wanted to be in a photograph at that particular moment.

    However, with all the questions concerning police treatment of minorities, perhaps recording this particular incident would benefit this man. I wish him health in the future.

  60. People doing good deeds are not concerned about being photographed, it shows them in a good light. If these cops were in fact doing their best, then being photographed would have shown them in a good light. But they felt they needed to stop the photography rather than demonstrate they were doing the right thing at the time.

  61. The best comment is, “Yes Dear, it’s all about you.” Susan Greene cites her First Amendment rights while attempting to take completely unnecessary photos of a unclothed male who was very likely in a mental health crisis. The officers mentioned HIPPA rights, which means that they were trying to tell her that the gentleman was unable to protect himself due to a medical or mental health crisis, which should have been enough information. Ms. Greene had another agenda and was only interested in her own rights with a total disregard for the consequences of her disrespectful and distasteful photo. The photo should not have been printed -period.

  62. DPD are thugs with badges.

    It’s scary, Democrat or Republican, authoritarianism reigns supreme in the “Land of the Free”.

  63. In order to prevent rogue cops from repeating these types of violations of our rights, we need to be able to fire them and have them stay fired.

    A cop who gets his job back or gets paid for time lost or other such malarky provides no incentive for police to be accountable for their actions. Violating the rights of any suspect or of a citizen who witnesses a bad cop should be grounds for legal action that has teeth.

    A cop only gets the respect that they deserve – and that is based upon the actions that ALL cops show to We the People. That is how it is and how it should be.

  64. As a fellow professional reporter and photojournalist I can say without hesitation that what happened was a clear and blatant violation of both the First Amendment and Colorado statutes.

    The officer’s actions are specifically prohibited by Colorado Revised Statute 16-3-311-Peace officer incident recordings.

    This statute, passed into law in 2015 forbids exactly what happened here.

    State law also allows the victim to file a lawsuit that can result in a $15,000 punitive damages judgment against the agency under C.R.S. 13-21-128-Civil liability for destruction or unlawful seizure of recordings by a law enforcement officer.

    If it happened to me I’d file such a lawsuit in a hot New York minute and I think she should do so as well as a warning to DPD.

  65. Welcome to the world of first amendment audits where the police tend to not care about your rights. They do as they please because they know nothing will hold them accountable.

  66. Sounds like you have quite the bias and anger towards police. Maybe journalism should not be your field, sounds like you need to be an activist. Oh, here’s an idea, you have some many opinions on how a police officer should behave, become a police officer and set the gold example. Yea, didn’t think so, continue to hide behind your pen and camera and judge.

  67. “it seems like you have a bias against police”

    Yes, watching people violate the Constitution has the impact on most people.

    Not you though Adam.

    Were you wearing you MAGA hat while typing?

  68. It is absolutely ludicrous, and infuriating that these are the men who have the jobs of protecting and serving our communities. These officers should be fired. These officers are the face of the law, and they don’t even know the law. Or more likely, they do, and think it only applies as they see fit to apply it. Disgraceful.

  69. I just do not understand why Susan was trying to take pictures of a naked man on the street? Is this news? From the video, it seems the cops were trying to protect this man from some idiot person taking pictures of a drugged out naked man, they covered him and I think it was a nice gesture. I mean really, is this Susan so desperate for news that she wants pictures of a naked man?

  70. You all are idiots. Her first amendment does not supersedes the person in the ambulance fourth amendment, and if any of you knew constitutional law you would not have commented.

  71. Susan, thanks for reporting on this man, and then on yourself. This is the exact reason that I don’t talk to police, or look at police, or take pictures of police. And I’m not a black man. I’ve seen the videos of what happens to them. The police, in general, are violent and terrifying. They do not care that you are a citizen or that you have rights. They steamroll you, by any means necessary. And sometimes you die. So thank you for stopping to take pictures and video, and I’m glad that you weren’t more seriously hurt (or killed). I think that you should probably file that report. Maybe it’ll help?

  72. I feel for you Susan – Denver has a lot of total losers in the city who proudly wear there MAGA red hats with their single digit IQ’s and play pocket pool all day. I can tell who stupid many of these people are and real jackasses.
    His name is OFFICER HARTVIGSON and not the “subject officer” is what I wrote on the subject line of the email I sent to both the Office of the Internal Monitor and the Internal Affairs Bureau regarding this thug, OFFICER HARTVIGSON who harassed me at the Denver Airport on June 20, 2018. I am a 57 year old man with no criminal history to all the stupid asses out there whose comments show what a bunch of losers you are. I am glad I stood up to OFFICER HARTVIGSON, who appears to be arrested drag queen desperate to slip into her Victoria Secrets once she gets home and probably even wears them underneath her uniform. Way to go girl, OFFICER HARTVIGSON!!!
    Stand your ground Susan and not pay attention to these losers!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.