Occupy Denver: Police text messages rip protesters as "pathetic"
At around the same time an Occupy Denver request for a temporary restraining order against the City and County of Denver was denied, the Denver Police Department released a slew of car-to-car text messages pertaining to the movement.
Lt. Matt Murray.
Even Denver Police spokesman Lieutenant Matt Murray concedes that some of them are unprofessional.
The document is on view below, but here are some examples. Check out this exchange from October 1:
"They're supporting the same BS protests that are going on on Wall Street. The typical 'Tax the Rich' 'Eff the Cops' anarchist crap."
"Denver protesters are too pathetic for us to have anything like that."
"lol, that might not be a bad thing... at least we aren't in the media ;) -- for now that is."
Here's another back and forth, from October 17:
"i'm listening to peter boyles and how the protesters are peaceful and calm... these guys got one of the protesters who had a dozen homemade weapons on an rtd bus. machetes, shivs, nunchuks, throwing stars."
"all kinds of stuff to shank cops if they grabbed him."
"If you think about it, large scale protests are a good way to waste city money and possibly cripple the system."
"If you had 5000ish people that went berserk, it would bankrupt the city so fast, with jailing everyone and paying cops. I sure wouldn't work for free."
And this one, from October 30:
"it is nuts down here i have costume freaks yelling at protesters who are yelling at police who are yelling at transients."
"and i take it you were protesting today instead of coming in early you treehugger animal activist."
"I donated a few hours last night because of the protest and we had a bunch of calls from all over the country with pissed off people watching some videos on the internet."
"Sunday the stoners got so stoned, so no motivation to protest today."
"in the last two days no less than one hundred people, at protest and other places, have screamed obscenities and directed demeaning remarks at me, and i am not allowed to respond in any way. what a great system."
This last comment forms the subtext of spokesman Murray's statement about the text messages, which have been released, he notes, in the interest of transparency.
In Murray's words, "a few communications between individual officers through a car-to-car text system have not met the standard of professionalism expected by the Denver Police Department and the citizens of Denver in regards to the Occupy Denver protests. We recognize this and have already taken steps to address the behavior and to remind all officers of our expectations. The Denver Police Department regrets the tenor and tone of some of these texts."
Murray adds that "while not a defense for inappropriate behavior, many Denver Police Officers have now endured months of having to leave their families to come into work early, giving up their days off, and silently tolerating hours of taunting and abusive actions by some protestors.
"It is common for employees in any line of work to vent their frustrations to co-workers. But more important, is the fact that the actions of the Denver Police Department and its Officers have reflected the City's commitment to protect free speech. These are the words of a very few officers over a thirteen week period."
With that introduction, check out the entire DPD text message release.
More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver timeline: Two-and-a-half months that have shaken the city."