Since Saturday's Occupy Denver protest ended with more arrests, much attention has focused on two investigations for felony assault of a police officer. But neither Denver Police nor the DA's office have named anyone other than Westword interviewee John Sexton as being under felony investigation. And though the second case may be linked to a cop's motorcycle being pushed over, they've yet to confirm that, either.
After being released on his birthday yesterday, 33-year-old Sexton has been a consistent target of accusations that he is the culprit behind the notorious motorcycle tipping. However, a video on view below shows that these accusations are misguided.
Here's the footage:
In the clip, a man can be seen pushing over a police motorcycle and being chased to the ground by officers, at which point it appears he will be arrested. But there is still no record of this arrest, according to Occupy Denver's legal team. Moreover, the man in question is clad in different clothes than the ones Sexton was photographed wearing on the day of the incident.
These distinctions apparently didn't make a difference on Saturday. "When I got to jail, the corrections officers kept asking me why I knocked a cop off his motorcycle, and I had no idea what they were talking about," he recalls. "That wasn't me. I spoke to my mother on the phone later, and it took a while to convince even her that I wasn't guilty, because I had received so much media attention."
Westword's conversations with both Denver Police Department public information officer Matthew Murray and DA spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough this morning ended without a confirmed name for the alleged second felony investigation, though Occupy Denver representatives suspect the second name (withheld for anonymity) to be that of the person in the video. The occupiers say they know the man's name and have confirmed that he was not arrested and has not been entered into the legal system in relation to Saturday's events. "In all of our listings, there's only one felony assault charge," says Cat Keffer, a member of Occupy Denver's legal team since the first series of arrests. That was Sexton, the lone Occupy Denver felony announcement at a Sunday morning arraignment.
"He's not in the system," Keffer continues. "The issue we see, then, is that the person who knocked over that officer's motorcycle has not been arrested for anything and John Sexton is somehow facing a felony investigation for assault of a police officer. The amount of misinformation flying around is crazy."
In the meantime, Murray has confirmed that the information in the press release sent out on Sunday morning, which listed two arrests related to felony investigations for assault on a police officer. However, Murray says such offenses occurred more than two times throughout the tense sections of the afternoon.
"It was multiple counts, certainly," Murray says. "There was only one motorcycle issue, but several officers were kicked by protesters. It became heated. In that kind of environment, there's so many people around that it's hard to tell who it is."
John Sexton is placed in a chokehold during Saturday's interaction between police and Occupy Denver.
Courtesy of Tanner Spendley
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Sexton's investigation will be dismissed later this week unless it is supported by additional evidence to prove his charge. In the hours immediately following his arrest, Sexton was told on camera that his charge was that of disobeying a police officer, and it was only once he was taken to jail that he learned his eventual charge wasn't that misdemeanor but felony assault.
"When I was still in custody, they took me outside the paddy wagon and read me my charge on camera," Sexton says. "The only charge then was disobeying a lawful order, and that was completely replaced with the other charge later on."
More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver profile: John Sexton says he was falsely accused of felony assault on cop."