Denver police violated policy when they detained Indy editor, internal investigation finds

The Colorado Independent: A Denver Police Department internal investigation released today found two officers violated city policy when they handcuffed and detained Colorado Independent Editor Susan Greene last summer. Both face fines worth two days of pay.

Greene’s action — recording on-duty officers in public with her phone camera — “does not, in itself, provide grounds for detention or arrest,” a department rule states. Officers are not allowed to “threaten or intimidate individuals who are recording police activities, nor will they discourage or interfere with the recording of police activities.” The seven-month internal investigation determined that Officers James Brooks and Adam Paulsen violated this rule, according to reports the city provided today on each officer’s conduct.

Additionally, the reports state in footnotes that Brooks turned on his body camera belatedly, failing to record his behavior when approaching Greene, and that the officers were both mistaken in telling her she was violating HIPAA — a federal law outlining an individual’s rights to privacy in medical records — when recording their handling of a vulnerable man on a Colfax Avenue sidewalk.

“I’m encouraged to see the police department is taking disciplinary measures against these officers,” Greene said. “I am also perplexed that Officer Brooks’ body camera was not turned on from the moment he approached me. Had it been, it would have shown the level of aggression with which he came at me.”

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