Eight people who were arrested on the second day of the Democratic National Convention during a mass protest filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Denver last night alleging wrongful arrest.Took long enough.
The plaintiffs - who filed their case in Denver District Court - are represented by lawyers for the ACLU of Colorado and include a legal observer for the People's Law Project, a journalist, students documenting the protest and onlookers along 15th Street and Cleveland Place on Aug. 25.It all seems so long ago.
In addition, the lawsuit is seeking class-action status for nearly 100 people who were held at a special jail, dubbed "Gitmo on the Platte" and claim they were denied access to attorneys who came to provide advice.
Denver police have said they were trying to control the crowd moving from Civic Center. The officers testified in court that they had intelligence that anarchists planned to gather in the park, then move toward the 16th Street Mall to wreak havoc at delegate hotels and other businesses. The activists had posted that plan on a publicly available website.
Update: In comments Wartie "Lori" links to a 7News story that has a few more details:
Meanwhile, 7NEWS learned a handful of undercover Denver police officers may have posed as protesters in the months leading up to and during the DNC.Now there's a flash.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, law enforcement sources said the officers are believed to have infiltrated several protest groups and provided intelligence to police after attending meetings and other gatherings. . . .I feel a TV pilot coming on: Spagz: Revolutionary for the DPD! Only problem is, it says the person(s) provided "intelligence" to the police. As we all know, that's beyond Spagz.
Then Glee Spagulla himself is quoted:
"It makes us very uncomfortable,” said Glenn Spagnuolo, a principal organizer of one of the largest protest organizations, Recreate 68.Eloquently.
"The city of Denver has not learned from historical mistakes they've made," Spagnuolo said, while recalling the so-called “spy files” of 2002. Back then, the ACLU went public with documents accusing police of monitoring, recording keeping files on peaceful protest activities of Denver-area residents.
"They were slapped on the hand once before, and I believe as this story unfolds they'll be slapped on the hand again,” Spagnuolo told 7NEWS reporter Lane Lyon.
"People are not engaging criminal activities, they are engaging in constitutional rights and we're being treated as if we are criminals,” he added.
One source told 7NEWS the officers may have been instructed to work outside clear policies for undercover operations by not having appropriate back up.Not having appropriate backup? Defemd Children and Elders!