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Report from ABC Denver: Repression in Denver (USA)

Over the last year there has been a strong resistance to police murder
and terror across the city of Denver. This is only the most recent surge
in resistance to police terror in our city, going back to the loss of
Paul Childs in 2003 or more recently Marvin Booker in 2010.

Denver Police have been systematically targeting and arresting those
actively involved in this organizing. Denver Community Defense
Committee, a group which has organized extensive support for families of
people murdered by police, has five of its seven members under
prosecution or known to be under investigation by the Gang Unit of DPD.
Prominent independent journalists, those with an expansive reach through
social media, have been targeted and arrested while filming the police
in Denver.

At a rally outside the statewide conference of Chiefs of Police on July
20th it was observed that DPD had a handbook with names, photos and
details on local organizers or participants in demonstrations against
the police. DPD has a history of this type of behavior with the “Denver
Spy Files,” (http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/10/nation/na-spies10)
where local law enforcement had kept files on those involved in social
movements for decades. While it was found to be illegal by a federal
court to compile such files on community organizers and activists, and
while DPD settled with the ACLU and promised to cease politically
motivated surveillance, it appears that they have picked up the practice
once again.

Since Friday, August 7 at least three organizers in Denver have been
visited at their residences by Denver Police officers. DPD has been
asking for people by name and snooping around their homes. At least two
activists have found out that police officers tried to enter their
residences, without a warrant, while they were away from home. Others
who have pending legal cases have had more charges added, many months
later with no additional evidence, by the office of Mitch Morrissey,
Denver District Attorney. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that after
demonstrations were held in front of Morrisey’s home to protest his
failure to indict killer cops, his office is maliciously adding false
charges against police brutality protesters. There was also a petition
to recall Morrisey as DA that garnered 20,000 signatures, a petition
supported by the same protester community he is now targeting.

This morning two activists who have been targets of this harassment from
DPD were taken into custody. A month ago they were detained while they
were walking down the street and given a request to appear with a
detective for an interview. They then were notified they were to be
interviewed by the Gang Unit. Last Friday 8 officers came looking for
them at a previous address. Today they chose to turn themselves in and
are currently being held awaiting booking and the setting of bond.
Please contribute to their bond fund at: Denver Anarchist Black Cross
Bail Fund
.

Knowing your rights does not ensure that the police honor them. They do
not care. They are legally allowed to lie to you, and will lie to you.
However knowing your rights and methodically going through them might
help you in your interacting with the police and might help you later if
you end up having to go to court.

* Anything you say will be held against you. Do not answer questions.
Do not talk to the police.
* If police come to your door, you do not have to let them into your
house if they do not have a search warrant. You do not have to
answer any questions. You can exercise your right to remain silent
and to speak to an attorney. Videotape them from inside your home.
* If you are stopped on the street ask if you are being detained. If
the answer is no, ask if you are free to leave. If the answer is yes
that you are free to leave, leave immediately. Get as far away as
you can, call friends and comrades who you trust.
* If the police are searching your belongings or home, say out loud “I
do not consent to this search.” Keep repeating “I do not consent to
a search without a warrant.” It will not stop them from searching
necessarily but it may impact what is admissible in court.
* If they do have a warrant ask to see it(they can show it through the
screen or glass, or slide it under the door) verify that it has been
signed by a judge. Make note of the items listed on the warrant of
what they are allowed to search. If they attempt to search or take
any additional items say out loud that you do not consent to items
being searched that are not on the warrant.

*Let’s keep our heads up and hearts strong. And remember always, Mitch
Morrissey’s dog is an anarchist.*

*If you are an organizer or activist being harassed, detained or have
officers come to your home let folks know at defenddnvr@gmail.com and
people can be in touch as quickly as possible! *

*Repression only makes us stronger! Haters make us love harder!*

ABC Denver

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2015 at 6:26 pm and is filed under Social Control.