Michael Asberry Locked up for Littering

When a Denver cop saw a man drop a cup on the ground in the alley off 15th and California streets on June 20, the officer asked if the man would object to being searched, since the cop knew the alley as a hotbed for criminal activity. The officer didn’t know the man he was talking to was Michael Asberry, a founding member of the Denver gang Rollin’ 30 Crips (as was detailed in the Westword story “The Transformers”). He also didn’t know Asberry had a history of fighting with police.

Asberry had been released from jail less than a month before, after serving time for spitting on an officer and threatening the officer’s family, behavior that the 37-year-old had been accused and convicted of in the past. Now, Asberry resisted this officer’s search request. The cop threatened ’cuffs and Asberry complied—until asked what the bulge in his left pocket was.

Asberry tried to take off. The cop stopped him and the two were fighting when Asberry allegedly tried to unholster the officer’s weapon. As the cop radioed in for help, a couple of bystanders assisted. Asberry was detained and the bulge in his pocket turned out to be a couple of sacks of weed and crack.

Now he’s back behind bars, where he spends most of his time. – Luke Turf

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner