Denver police watchdog will investigate how DPD handled protests. Here’s what he can do — and can’t.

The Colorado Sun: The independent watchdog for Denver’s law enforcement agencies announced Thursday that he will open an investigation into the Denver Police Department’s actions during recent protests against police violence.

Nicholas Mitchell, the city’s independent monitor, wrote in a letter to City Council that his office would look into police officers’ “use of physical force, chemical agents, riot gear and surplus military equipment, as well as its handling of community complaints regarding alleged officer misconduct during the demonstrations.”

The investigation comes in response to calls from council members and others to investigate how officers have responded to more than two weeks of protests over police misconduct and the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the hands of police in Minneapolis and whose death has spurred a nationwide movement for law enforcement reform. The protests in Denver were largely peaceful, but, during nighttime clashes with some demonstrators, officers made hundreds of arrests — the vast majority for curfew violations — and also frequently used tear gas, smoke grenades, pepper balls and foam bullets to disperse the crowd.

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