As covered by Ark Valley Voice in Monday’s “Colorado Journalists Attacked by Police”, The Colorado State Patrol (CSP), is alleged to be one of the law enforcement agencies involved indirectly targeting members of the media during the weekend protests in Denver related to the death of George Floyd, a black man killed on the streets of Minneapolis, by four Minneapolis Police officers. Tuesday afternoon, the CSP responded to a letter sent by several Colorado media associations including the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
Its response read, in part:
“The Colorado State Patrol respects the media and the work they continue to do in order to document and inform the public of the events occurring across Colorado. Your work has never been more important and we acknowledge that one of our responsibilities is to help you safely accomplish your role.
The Colorado State Patrol has not, nor will not, target the media and we are committed to your safety. Please know that our members have observed many journalists courageously documenting current events not only in Colorado but across the nation. Much like our jobs, we acknowledge that your job can be dangerous and you have our respect for what you do.”
“We are open to discussing efforts to move forward and ensure the safest possible working conditions for those involved. We would be interested in participating in a joint task force to help mitigate these incidents.”
To view the full response, click here.
According to the CSP:
“On Saturday, May 30, a male member of the media was mistaken for a protestor and was occupying an area that was being cleared of protestors who were in violation of the law. This person was not responding to commands to clear the area. The male appeared to be rummaging through things, facing away, and wearing a backpack. There were no clear indications the male was a member of the media. A second male was next to him as well with no press markings either. One foam round was fired to gain compliance and struck the first male in the backpack.
Shortly after, the males walked up to the troopers and asked for an explanation and to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor immediately explained the situation and why the round was fired, and that he had ordered it. He explained to the reporter that there was no indication he was with the media, and that the camera was not visible. The supervisor immediately apologized for the incident.
The Colorado State Patrol is still looking into this incident to see what could be improved to reduce the likelihood of it occurring again.”