As reaction swirls, police ID men arrested for defacing memorial – The Denver Post
Denver police identified the two men who were arrested Saturday after defacing a memorial for fallen officers during a protest march.Matthew Goldberg, 23, and Robert Guerrero, 25, were charged with “investigation of criminal mischief-vandalism” in the incident, which took place at police headquarters, 1331 Cherokee Street.On Sunday, protest organizers, police and city officials reacted to the incident. Denver’s Denver Police Union President Nick Rogers told the Associated Press that the officers should have been allowed to intervene when the suspects threw red paint on the memorial.But that would not have been in keeping with police department policy on how officers are to deal with protesters.”Some have expressed outrage that police did not immediately confront the protestors and arrest those responsible for the damage,” said , Denver’s Executive Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Malley.”The Denver Police Department has developed a non-confrontational strategy when dealing with free speech protests,” O’Malley said. The police prefer to identify suspects and arrested them after the protests, O’Malley said.”This is far safer for the officers, the suspects, and the community,” she said.Cmdr. Matt Murray, the police department’s chief of staff, said Sunday that the situation was similar to a protest that occurred in November, when 10 people were arrested after spraying graffiti on the state Capitol building.About two weeks after that event, Denver police did step in when marchers protesting the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo. not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.When protesters appear poised to move onto Interstate 25 at Colfax Avenue, officers used pepper spray and arrested four people obstruction of a roadway.”You’re making decisions in a very fluid situation; you let people go, but at some point you have to decide, ‘Here’s where the line is drawn,'” Murray said.
Meanwhile on Sunday, the organizers of Saturday’s protest issued a sharply-worded statement questioning the priorities of the reaction to the memorial defacing versus the deaths that prompted the march.”It is telling that at this moment, local media and the Denver Police Department are more offended over red paint being splashed on … – Click Here To Visit Article Source