Commerce City police officer fired after making open-records request

From CBS4 (Denver):  A Commerce City police officer fired after he filed a Colorado Open Records Act Request has now filed a federal lawsuit suggesting his termination violated his First Amendment rights.

“They took away a career I loved, they took my career away from me because I was seeking honesty, integrity and truthfulness. That’s wrong,” said Scott Green, who was with the Commerce City Police Department for 18 years until he was fired last December.

Commerce City Police Chief Troy Smith fired Green three months after the veteran officer filed a Colorado Open Records Act Request with the City of Arvada seeking information on two of his fellow Commerce City officers who had previously served with the Arvada Police Department.

“And I made the request and I needed to find out about the truthfulness of a couple officers in our department. I made it as a private citizen and did it merely as a citizen like anyone else would do,” Green said.

Last September Green, off duty, unarmed and not in uniform, traveled to the City of Arvada and filed a brief written Colorado Open Records Act Request seeking disciplinary information and excessive force history for two former Arvada officers who worked alongside Green at Commerce City. Green previously had bad blood with one of the two officers.

Arvada denied Green’s request for information and Arvada Police Chief Don Wick then called his Commerce City counterpart, Chief Troy Smith, to let Smith know that one of his officers was attempting to gather information about two of his colleagues. Smith immediately launched an internal affairs investigation saying Green’s actions constituted an “unauthorized investigation” aimed at undermining his colleagues.

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