Greene: No charges for Denver cop in handcuffing incident

The Colorado Independent: I wrote last month about a July 5 incident in which a Denver police officer handcuffed me and restrained me in a police car for photographing his colleagues handling a man they had restrained, butt naked, on Colfax Avenue.

Officer James Brooks asserted that I was violating the man’s HIPAA rights by shooting pictures on the public sidewalk. Also, while prodding me, handcuffed, toward the police car, Brooks told me to “act like a lady.”

Readers have been asking about the upshot.

In the seven weeks since, Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration hasn’t handed over body cam footage of the incident, as The Independent has requested. We, as well as the Colorado Press Association, the Colorado Association of Broadcasters and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition have asked the administration what, if anything, the mayor will do to keep officers from stopping journalists or any member of the public from taking photographs or otherwise engaging in free speech liberties in the city. We’ve had no answer.

Hancock did order an internal affairs investigation of the incident. And earlier this month, I was questioned for 90 minutes as part of that inquiry. By that point, the internal affairs officer questioning me said his office had interviewed about 20 people regarding the incident. Brooks, incidentally, wasn’t one of them. It felt during his questioning that I rather than Brooks was being investigated.

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