Black activist attacked in home by Denver Police
Body: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Black activist has rights violated and is attacked in home by Denver Police
Press conference set for Monday, Dec. 3rd 7pm @ Denver Police Headquarters 1331 Cherokee St. Denver, CO 80204 720-913-2000.
Melissa and I have taken on a parolee. His was one of the police brutality cases that we and others had worked on. The man had been shot in the back by Denver cops three years ago and he still has the bullet lodged in him. The police broke into a home he was visiting and shot him because he "fit the description" of someone they claimed to have been looking for.
The parolee was released and allowed to stay in our apartment. He was released a few weeks ago. We had spoken with the parole officer sparsely and a verbal agreement was made via the telephone, but nothing written was ever presented to us and we never signed any document· We were told that the parole officer would make unannounced visits and would search the home when the parolee was around, but would search only the parolee's things.
At 10:30pm on Friday we were watching basketball. There was a very hard knock on the door. We asked who it was and was told that it was a parole visit. I told them the parolee was not home and they said open the door.
I opened the door and there were many cops standing in the hallway. I'd say at this time maybe about five or six. They said they wanted to come in and I repeated that the parolee was not home and that he was probably at work. The parolee did not have a curfew and was only told that he must spend his nights in our home. I asked Melissa to get a pen and a piece of paper. I told the cops I needed to see Identification and that I wanted their business cards.
Denver police have to carry them and surrender them upon request. I had badges stuck in my face but that they didn't have to give me their cards. I told them that this would go know further, that the parolee was not home and that I wanted their cards. One of them scoffed and pushed the door open and me out of the way.
The cops rushed into the apartment and started rifling through our things and went into our bedroom and asked where the parolee's bedroom was. We told him he slept on the futon and that his things were in two boxes on the floor.
They then walked through our bedroom, looked through our clothes, walked into our bathroom, our kitchen where they looked in cupboards and the refrigerator and then started dumping the contents out of our suitcases.
We told them to shut the door because our cats might get out. More cops come in and they constantly come in and out. They dumped one of my suitcases out and find bullets that I have had for 8 to 10 years. They had been packed away in a box. We still have yet to move into our place and many things are still packed and the bullets had been put into a suitcase with clothes that were packed away and had yet to be unpacked.
I told them that they were mine and that it was not against the law to possess them and that there was no gun, because there isn't. I don't keep any weapons in the apartment.
The cops then continue searching, leaving in and out of the apartment and tell us we have to sit on the futon. The cats hover near the door and so Melissa and I agreed that they should be put in the bedroom. I stand up and then one of the cops shoves me and I tell her that I'm going to get the cats out of the way and that she doesn't have the right to touch me and that they have violated our rights up to this point.
She says sit down and shut up and I repeat that the cats have to be put away so they don't run out because the cops won't shut the door when they come in and out and that they can watch me. She shoves me again, then another cop grabs my arm and twists it and tells me to put it behind my back, which it is at this point. He then throws me down and jumps on top of me. I'm pinned between the futon and the wall and my other arm is pinned underneath me. More cops jump on top of me and they keep repeating stop resisting, stop resisting. These are big cops. I'm a small person. It would be difficult for me to resist when there are three to four cops pushing and pulling at me. One cop grabs the back of my neck and begins pushing my head down and someone is twisting my arm. Then someone starts ripping my hair out and the whole time they are yelling.
I hear Melissa in the background crying and telling them to stop and that I hadn't done anything. She says over and over please don't hurt him.
I'm pulled over and my shirt is ripped half off of me, I'm tossed around some more and on to the floor then handcuffed. At this time I'm wearing only socks, a ripped up t-shirt and a pair of sweat pants. I'm pulled on to my feet. My arms are forced up in the air behind my back and I'm pushed down the stairs, stumbling the whole time and shoved against the walls and railings when I stumble.
It is maybe thirty degrees outside and I see more cops as I'm forced to walk on the cold pavement with only socks. I get to the cop car, the door is opened and I'm standing facing the door. Another cop comes up behind me and starts squeezing my cuffs with both his hands. I tell him that it is not necessary, that I'm just standing there and not resisting. My hands go numb. He looks in my face and smirks and says that they can do a lot more to me and that I could end up face down on the cement. I told him he was a pig. He then turns me around, hits me in the stomach and pushes me by the top of my head into the car. I'm made to sit in the car with the windows down.
The cops tell me that they are going to book me as John Doe and that I'd spend at least 72 hours in jail before I'm processed, then told that I'd be put on a psych hold because it seemed like I wanted to hurt myself. I asked if this was a threat.
I was taken to one facility and handcuffed to a metal bench and told I could not make a phone call and that my rights did not entitle me to one. I was not even allowed to use the restroom. I may have been there about one hour to and hour and a half and had to hold my urine.
When I got out, Melissa told me they cuffed her to a chair for over an hour in the apartment and that they ransacked our apartment and joked about letting our cats go. This is why when I asked if she could bring me some shoes and another shirt, before I was driven away from the apartment, that she couldn't because they had her cuffed to the chair. She says there were 8 to 10 cops altogether.