Denver police open internal investigation into detaining of Colorado Independent editor

The Colorado Independent: The Denver Police Department says it has opened an internal investigation into an incident in which The Colorado Independent’s Editor Susan Greene was handcuffed and detained after attempting to document a police interaction on Colfax Avenue.

Greene was near the intersection of Colfax and Grant Street at about 3:40 on Thursday afternoon when she noticed a naked man in handcuffs seated on the sidewalk surrounded by police officers.

She stopped to observe and began to photograph the situation.

In a column published Friday morning, Greene said Officer James Brooks told her to stop photographing, to which she responded that she had a First Amendment right to take pictures on a public sidewalk. Greene says Brooks told her to stop because she was violating the naked man’s HIPAA rights. Greene said that when she started taking a photo of Brooks’ name tag and badge, the officer “grabbed me and twisted my arm,” told her act like a lady, handcuffed her and detained her in a police car. After about 10 minutes, she said, police released her without a charge or explanation.

Denver police said in a statement Friday that the naked man Greene observed was “in crisis” when police showed up.

“As officers were waiting with the man for an ambulance to arrive,” the statement read, “a bystander began taking pictures of the incident. Officers confronted the bystander (Greene) and detained her until after the person was transported to the hospital.”

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