Video Shows Two Police Officers Handcuffing Journalist Who Was Filming Arrest

Two Denver police officers have been disciplined after an investigation into an incident during which they handcuffed a journalist who was filming an arrest from a sidewalk.

The incident happened on July 5, 2018 in Denver, when Colorado Independent editor Susan Greene began filming an arrest on a sidewalk. Officers Adam Paulsen and James Brooks told her to stop filming, and when she persisted, they handcuffed her and placed her in a police car, insisting that HIPAA laws (though the officers incorrectly stated what HIPAA stands for) superseded her First Amendment rights that she repeatedly asserted vocally. While handcuffing her, one of the officers told Greene to "act like a lady."

After a seven-month investigation, the two officers were docked two days of pay, and the police department has said it has "reiterated to officers policies involving First Amendment considerations" in a training bulletin, though it's strange (to say the least) that a police department would have to issue a refresher on basic constitutional rights. The Denver district attorney did not press charges against the officers. It's unclear at the moment if Greene plans to file any sort of civil suit against the officers or the department, though she expressed mixed feelings, saying she was "encouraged" by the disciplinary action, but disappointed by things like the length of the investigation and its failure to address other issues like the officers' remarks. 

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Scott Hussey's picture

But would it apply to a journalist?

Journalist isn't a health care provider

Dear Americans,

Put your law text books away. It is simple. They asked her to back up from a crime scene. She didn't. They arrested her.

Now you are trying to tell me, that because they referenced the wrong part of the law, then she is no longer breaking the law by interfering with an officer performing their duties? You sound like school children - "no backsies!"

Andy Kochendorfer's picture

The officers charged with protecting the rights of citizens violated their constitutional rights. The woman that was falsely arrested should sue the Denver P.D. A judgement against a department has greater chance of making permanent change than a simple disciplinary action and policy statement. You like living in America the Free? Then stand up for it.

She should sue the police? For getting arrested whilst not backing up from a crime scene when instructed? Sounds like a line from Trump's manifesto.

If you Americans would stop suing each other for 5 minutes, you might be able to actually fix what is broken in your country.