Occupy Denver: Police text messages rip protesters as "pathetic"

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

At around the same time an Occupy Denver request for a temporary restraining order against the City and County of Denver was denied, the Denver Police Department released a slew of car-to-car text messages pertaining to the movement.

Even Denver Police spokesman Lieutenant Matt Murray concedes that some of them are unprofessional.

The document is on view below, but here are some examples. Check out this exchange from October 1:

"They're supporting the same BS protests that are going on on Wall Street. The typical 'Tax the Rich' 'Eff the Cops' anarchist crap."

"Denver protesters are too pathetic for us to have anything like that."

"lol, that might not be a bad thing... at least we aren't in the media ;) -- for now that is."

Here's another back and forth, from October 17:

"i'm listening to peter boyles and how the protesters are peaceful and calm... these guys got one of the protesters who had a dozen homemade weapons on an rtd bus. machetes, shivs, nunchuks, throwing stars."

"all kinds of stuff to shank cops if they grabbed him."

"If you think about it, large scale protests are a good way to waste city money and possibly cripple the system."

"If you had 5000ish people that went berserk, it would bankrupt the city so fast, with jailing everyone and paying cops. I sure wouldn't work for free."

And this one, from October 30:

"it is nuts down here i have costume freaks yelling at protesters who are yelling at police who are yelling at transients."

"and i take it you were protesting today instead of coming in early you treehugger animal activist."

"I donated a few hours last night because of the protest and we had a bunch of calls from all over the country with pissed off people watching some videos on the internet."

"Sunday the stoners got so stoned, so no motivation to protest today."

"in the last two days no less than one hundred people, at protest and other places, have screamed obscenities and directed demeaning remarks at me, and i am not allowed to respond in any way. what a great system."

This last comment forms the subtext of spokesman Murray's statement about the text messages, which have been released, he notes, in the interest of transparency.

In Murray's words, "a few communications between individual officers through a car-to-car text system have not met the standard of professionalism expected by the Denver Police Department and the citizens of Denver in regards to the Occupy Denver protests. We recognize this and have already taken steps to address the behavior and to remind all officers of our expectations. The Denver Police Department regrets the tenor and tone of some of these texts."

Murray adds that "while not a defense for inappropriate behavior, many Denver Police Officers have now endured months of having to leave their families to come into work early, giving up their days off, and silently tolerating hours of taunting and abusive actions by some protestors.

"It is common for employees in any line of work to vent their frustrations to co-workers. But more important, is the fact that the actions of the Denver Police Department and its Officers have reflected the City's commitment to protect free speech. These are the words of a very few officers over a thirteen week period."

With that introduction, check out the entire DPD text message release.

Denver Police Text Messages About Occupy Denver

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver timeline: Two-and-a-half months that have shaken the city."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.