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(en) US, Denver, Police Raid Food Not Bombs House Without Provocation Aug 6 2003 Occupants, Visitors Battered & Brutalized at Gathering - 8 arrests

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 7 Aug 2003 10:23:45 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

In another unprovoked attack on the activist scene, the Denver
PD stepped up their brutal repression of dissent on Friday night,
August 1st when they forced their way into an activist house near
Colfax & Lipan. Young people in the house were hit with
truncheons, choked by their jewelry and put in pain compliance
holds just for asking to see a warrant. Eight arrests were made, all
for petty misdemeanors. The occupants of the house are fearing
retaliation from the police if they go to the new citizens review
board because of threats made by Officer Mike Ryan (not

The next day, an occupant of the house, riding a bicycle, was
followed, stopped and threatened again by Officer Ryan. Area
activists are mobilizing against any possible retaliation and intend
to observe the house and police activity in the area.

Read the full account along with photos here.

Inquiries and letters of support can be sent to denver8@riseup.net

Two Weeks of Chaos/ Two weeks of Police Harassment (english)
Denver 8 11:43pm Mon Aug 4 '03 (Modified on 2:34am Wed Aug 6
address: Denver 8 C/O Breakdown Book Collective 1409 Ogden
st, Denver, CO, 80203 phone: 303-832-7952 Denver8@riseup.net

Denver cops burst into activists' home on alleged noise
complaints, and brutalized visitors. Eight out-of-town guests were
arrested, and others beaten. This is an open call out for solidarity
and support.

In the early morning hours of August 1st, Denver cops arrived at
an activist house for an alleged noise complaint and arrested 8
out-of-town guests. People were in town for Two Weeks of
Chaos, a sort of "family reunion" of travelers and friends. Events
such as Capture the Flag and a cardboard boat regatta down the
Platte River are examples of the kinds of peaceful activities
planned for the event. Denver cops, who have unfairly monitored
and harrassed participants throughout Two Weeks of Chaos,
entered the home without a warrant and with brutal and
unneccessary force, striking house guests with black jacks and
fists, using excessive compliance holds, and pulling guns on
guests who were attempting to comply with the initial officer's
order to disperse. In addition, the residents of the home were
threatened with eviction if they filed a complaint against the
officers involved. All eight people arrested currently are out on
bail with misdemeanor charges such as prohibited noise,
interference with police authority and asssault. The court date is
set for August 8, and everyone has pled not guilty and is ready to
fight the bogus charges against them. Following is a cohesive,
chronological account of the events as they transpired August 1.
Photos will be posted as soon as possible.

On August 1, 2003, at approximately 2:30 a.m., two officers
arrived at a residence in Denver, CO. The first officer, later
identified as Mike Ryan, approached the house. In an aggressive
manner and with excessive use of profanities, Ryan, without
provocation, immediately told the house guests on the front porch
and lawn to leave or they would be arrested. As people began
leaving, Ryan approached the front door and stated there was
underage drinking taking place, yet no one was asked to show
identification and there were no alcohol-related charges or arrests.
Ryan demanded to speak to a resident and was told to wait there.
Then he attempted to enter the residence, several people asked
him if he had a warrant. Ryan responded, "I don't need a f*cking
warrant. I can do whatever I want!" He then moved to enter the
house and a house guest attempted to shut the door to prevent him
from gaining entry without a warrant. Ryan pushed the door open
and entered anyway. House guests who formed a physical barrier
against his entry were pushed out of the way. Again, when asked
to see a warrant, he responded that he didn't need one and can do
what he wants and went on to threaten to "evict the residents and
call the landlord." He did not state his reason for entering the
house and refused to give his badge number.

At this point, resident Melissa came into the living room where
Ryan was standing and asked if they could speak on the front
porch instead of in the house. Ryan said everyone had to leave the
premises immediately. Melissa turned to the people in the front
room and said, "He said you have to leave right away." A number
of house guests questioned the legality of this request, as they
had been invited into the house. Ryan asked how many of the
people present were house guests. Approximately ten people
raised their hands. Ryan said "everyone still had to leave" right
away because of a law that states "no more than ten people can
stay in a house at a time." Dave, who was seated in the living
room door way, again asked Ryan if he had permission from the
owners of the house to be there. Ryan told Dave to stand up and
told his partner, who just had entered the house, to arrest him. He
was pulled to his feet and pushed against the wall amidst the
vocal protests of the people there. At that point, Ryan hit Andy,
who was sitting on the couch, three times on the forehead with his
fist. Andy attempted to exit the house through the back door,
following police orders to vacate the premises immediately, but
was stopped by three police officers who drew their guns and
shouted at him, "Get down or we'll blow your fucking brains out!"
Andy immediately lay on the ground and was surrounded by
officers who kicked and handcuffed him and dragged him to the
curb. At the same time, Ryan's partner grabbed Dave violently by
the hair and Ryan took hold of his leg, twisting it and kicking him
as they dragged him through the front door to the curb. Dave
repeatedly complained to officers about his leg, which was injured
when Ryan kicked him and excessively tight handcuffs which cut
off his circulation and left gashes on both wrists. He then was
dragged to the police car by two officers because he was unable
to walk due to his injured leg. EMTs arrived as a result of house
guests dialing 911 for an ambulance after the police denied their
requests for medical attention. Officers told the EMTs to leave
and took Dave to the police car when he attempted to speak to
them himself. Justin was arrested soon after when he walked onto
the porch to obtain badge numbers. During Dave's arrest and the
commotion that ensued, Jamie approached an officer to get his
name and badge number. He told the police there was no need for
violence and asked them to stop being hostile to avoid further
escalation. He asked the officers to come back with a warrant so
the situation could be dealt with peacefully. Jamie then was struck
in the chest with a blackjack and pushed into a stream of officers
coming through the front door into the house, one of whom
punched Jamie in the stomach and threw him into a wall. Three to
four police hit him in the head and chest, holding him down and
striking him while simultaneously ordering him to "get up or it's
resisting arrest." Officers used compliance holds to put handcuffs
on him. He then was dragged into the front yard, thrown to the
ground, and told to stay down. He yelled for someone to get a hold
of a lawyer. When he did this, an officer called Jamie an instigator
and he was pulled off the ground by his necklace, choking him, and
placed in the squad car by another officer.

Stephan was arrested during the initial commotion. He was
singled out and arrested when he asked why the cops were
arresting Dave, Andy and Jamie.

Several other house guests were assaulted as well. Eric was
struck in the face with a blackjack when he vocally protested the
officer's unnecessarily rough treatment of Dave.

After Stephan's arrest, only a few people remained in the house,
including seven officers. Officers were observed entering
bedrooms and rifling through the resident's personal belongings.
The few remaining guests repeatedly told the officers "we do not
consent to a search."

An officer pointed out Mary and Corrina among the approximately
five people who were sitting on the floor in the living room. They
ordered Mary to stand and she asked why she was being detained.
Three officers pulled her up by her arms and grabbed her legs.
They told her to walk as they lifted her and carried her toward the
door. She said she would comply, but they would not let her down.
When they got outside, she was dropped face first onto the ground
and an officer kicked dirt and sand in her face, which was
witnessed by Melissa. Corrina also was arrested. Every time she
asked for her arresting officer's badge number, he said, "I want to
speak to my attorney," and laughed mockingly. Officers also
directed unwarranted and unprovoked personal attacks against
Corrina for her hygiene and personal appearance.

Minutes after Ryan entered the residence, Wu returned to the
house upon hearing the violence, intending to act as a witness. He
asked for badge numbers, but was denied any response. He asked
why people were being arrested, and was asked by Officer Velez
to step back from the scene. He complied. Some time passed, and
most arrestees were being loaded into the police van. As Jamie
was being taken to the van, he called to see if someone could get
his glasses from inside, as he is extremely near-sighted. Wu
approached an officer and asked if he could accompany him inside
to retrieve Jamie's glasses. He told Wu to ask someone else. Wu
then approached the next closest officer who was walking up the
front steps to ask if she would allow him to retrieve the glasses.
As soon as he stepped inside to ask the officer, Officer Velez
came running in and arrested him, violently bending his arm back
and taking him out to a police car.

In total, eight people were arrested and seventeen police vehicles
were at the premises. No probable cause was ever presented to
the occupants, residents and guest of the house.

we are curently looking into pursuing legal action any donation or
letters of support would be greatly apreaciated!!!
write to: Denver8
c/o breakdown book collective
1409 ogden st
Denver,CO 80203

add your own comments

Cameras and microphones work well (english)
Hex anon w/ encryption 2:01pm Tue Aug 5 '03

> Justin was arrested soon after when he walked onto the porch to
obtain badge numbers. During Dave's arrest and the commotion
that ensued, Jamie approached an officer to get his name and
badge number.

I was arrested once for "disorderly conduct" when I asked an
officer for his badge number years ago.

Now I make sure the cameras are rolling when I ask - and often
point out the cameras as well. Cameras make a world of
difference I've found. So do microphones placed around the area.
We had some inspectors show up one day snooping around for
code violations. An officer was with them. When they went
upstairs I was talking to my neighbor and the officer demanded I
go inside. I stated "I live here - where do YOU live" and continued
talking to the neighbor.

He then said "if I have to put my hands on you, your going to jail"

I said "You DO realize that you are on camera and people are
watching, don't you ?"

He didn't have a retort for that but repeated his threat so I did go
inside but after a few seconds I cracked the door open and asked
for his badge number. He gave it.

Then they all went 'round the back of the house where I have
another hidden microphone they didn't know about and that officer
*tried to talk the inspector into shutting off just my electricity* but
they couldn't since we're all on the same meter. He then tried to
talk the inspector into "red tagging" (condeming) the whole house.
Right away without even the 30 days they are required to give you
to fix the place up...

The inspector wasn't willing to do that either. (the inspectors
weren't angry - I didn't talk to them at all only the officer)

Then he got them to agree to *forcing thier way in if I answered
the door* when they came back 'round front.

Naturally we were planning on NOT answering the door having
heard this. 5 or 6 other people were listening to this microphone as
well at the time.

I have since put in a camera to cover the back of the house with
an even better microphone...

They had this conversation in the belief that no one could hear
them (thought they were alone back there) when in fact a mic was
only a few feet away and several people were listening. It gave us
a first-hand look at the games that go on behind our backs.. The
officer didn't like me so he attempted to punish me by influencing
the inspectors behind my back after ordering me under threat of
arrest to stay inside. He was willing to condem the whole building
making over a dozen people homeless in the process just because
I "smarted off" to him...


The camera was the only thing that restrained him

The microphone was the only thing that exposed the politics and
games they play - and gave us early warning.

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