Protest Watch

Protests Shooting: Matthew Dolloff Charged, Jeremiah Elliott Menaced

Matthew Dolloff under arrest after the October 10 shooting, and Jeremiah Elliott during an interview with CBS4.
Matthew Dolloff under arrest after the October 10 shooting, and Jeremiah Elliott during an interview with CBS4. CBS4
Hypocrisy won't be on trial in connection with the October 10 killing of Lee Keltner after dueling protests at Civic Center Park, and that's just as well — because it would be hard to keep track of all the defendants.

Today, October 19, Matthew Dolloff, hired by 9News as a security guard for a crew covering a so-called Patriot Muster and a Black Lives Matter/Antifa soup drive both scheduled at the Civic Center on October 10, will be formally charged with second-degree murder by the Denver District Attorney's office. In the meantime, Jeremiah Elliott, a BLM activist who got into a dust-up with Keltner shortly before Keltner sprayed a cloud of chemicals in Dolloff's direction and the security guard pulled the trigger, is speaking out about threats made against him.

During an interview with CBS4 on October 18, Elliott wore a bulletproof vest.

Elliott has been under attack by the right-wing press since videos of the slaying surfaced, even though he was unarmed and the Mace-carrying Keltner had moved away from him before getting in the way of Dolloff's bullet. In recent days, these attacks have been bolstered by video that appears to show Elliott in a celebratory mood after Keltner went down. He can be heard in the clip below saying "One less white supremacist!" and "Fuck, yeah, right in the dome!"
Elliott declined to comment about the video when speaking to CBS4. But far-right and neo-Nazi groups have been directing the same kind of vitriol against Black Lives Matter and Antifa advocates for several months, as evidenced by a collection of hateful online posts assembled by Denver attorney Jason Flores-Williams for a lawsuit filed against Facebook over protester murders in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this year. (Click to access a Google Drive link containing a huge number of disturbing examples.)


Westword received allegations of threats against BLM witnesses after the Keltner shooting that echo what Elliott describes in a new GoFundMe page he's launched to finance what he describes as a "safety fund." Its introduction reads:
Since this incident occurred my life is in imminent danger as I am currently getting harassed and stalked online and off. They have contacted previous employment and housing and are trying to find my location. It is imperative that I get your help now when it is needed. Anything helps. All fund will go to my personal safety. Stay strong stay safe. 
Just over $700 has been donated to the cause.

Meanwhile, lawyers are weighing in on both sides. Dolloff attorney Doug Richards insists that his client was merely doing his job on October 10, rather than secretly supporting the progressive forces, and fired in self-defense. In contrast, William Boyle is doing his best to portray Keltner, whose family he represents, as an America-loving good guy rather than a combustible personality itching for just the sort of confrontation that erupted, albeit with tragic results.

Narratives like these will battle it out in the court of public opinion for weeks and months to come.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts