Home News Denver Police Union writes open letter to citizens urging action

Denver Police Union writes open letter to citizens urging action

File Photo
File Photo

An open letter distributed Thursday evening from the Denver Police Union to the citizens of Colorado asked that action be taken in the “demonstrated lack of leadership” by Denver Police Chief Robert White.

According to CBS Denver, the vandalism to the Denver Police Fallen Officers Memorial last weekend during a protest, as well as the inaction of officers, has been blamed on White.

The letter expressed the sentiment of the union stating, “Sadly, this crime was allowed to be committed in the presence of Denver police officers who were under orders from Chief Robert White to take no action. Not only did Chief White prevent officers from protecting the memorial as it was being damaged, he also failed to take reasonable preventative steps such as posting officers around it to preserve the sanctity of this place of remembrance for the families and friends of these Colorado heroes. Chief White should have anticipated this vandalism to this Colorado monument as the State Capital was vandalized in a previous protest. Common sense dictates that targets such as the State Capital and Denver Police Memorial Wall be protected during an anti-police demonstration.”

9News reported that the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police is calling for the resignation or firing of both White and Denver Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Malley. They both have been criticized for the failure of officers to act as protesters poured red paint on the city’s memorial for fallen officers.

The group voiced concern that Director O’Malley has no public safety managerial experience, nevertheless she was chosen to manage the safety services of a Denver.

“The fact that Denver police officers working that demonstration had to watch the outrageous vandalism to this revered memorial without being able to intervene is shameful, inexcusable, and unacceptable,” said Stephen Schulz, president of the Colorado FOP in a letter to Mayor Michael Hancock.

The police union expressed concern that “White’s poor leadership…casts doubt on his ability to effectively lead the 1,400 officers of the Denver Police Department.”

White contends that a non-confrontational policing strategy helped defuse a potentially violent situations by identifying the suspects and arresting them later. He called Saturday’s vandalism “abhorrent,” but said “I believe the decision we made was appropriate.”

On Monday, Hancock stated he knew ahead of time what White’s strategy was going to be before the protest began. “I’m aware of the tactics that the chief and his command staff are deploying on the streets,” he said. “If we don’t necessarily have to put our officers in harm’s way, we won’t do it.”

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