The Colorado Independent: As you may have heard, Indy editor Susan Greene was handcuffed and detained by two Denver cops Thursday in front of the state Capitol for — and I can’t emphasize this enough — simply trying to do her job and for nothing more.
It’s an outrage, of course. This standoff between cop and reporter is not a product of the Trumpian fake news era, by the way. This is the product of a longstanding police issue with what we’ll call transparency and which long predates Donald Trump.
But if you read the comments on Greene’s column — a column that went viral because the First Amendment apparently still means something in America — you’ll see the national divide being played out in its usual ugly form. Greene, many of the commenters complained, was whining, she was disrespectful, she was a cop-hater, she was out to exploit the man held by the police, she was a purveyor of fake news. If you read carefully, you could almost hear those at a Trump rally cheering the commenters on.
Evidence for what had happened with the man — cuffed, naked except for a smallish towel — and what happened to Greene for investigating the incident should be available from the cop-cams that police officers wear. We’ll see. To this point, the police have refused to release the evidence to The Indy. In the days of #blacklivesmatter, more and more cops across the country are wearing cameras, but we’ve also seen how often the cameras are somehow turned off when the situation grows dicey.
Greene was driving down Colfax and saw a group of cops surrounding a man sitting on the sidewalk, with just a cloth covering the parts that, by law, needed to be covered. It looked, well, potentially dicey. As a reporter who writes often and well on social justice issues and especially criminal justice issues, she pulled over to find out what was going on. (For evidence of Greene’s profound interest in this area, you can read here of her award last year from the ACLU of Colorado for her work in civil rights.) Among other things, she wanted to know why the police had not covered up the man sitting exposed on the sidewalk.
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