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Denver Police Thuggery? ABC News Needs to Lawyer Up.

Posted by iusbvision on August 27, 2008

This is currently being reported by ABC News.

ABC Reporter Arrested in Denver Taking Pictures of Senators, Big Donors

Asa Eslocker Was Investigating the Role of Lobbyists and Top Donors at the Convention


Aug. 27, 2008—

DENVER–Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel.

Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit.

(Click here to watch video of the arrest.)

A cigar-smoking Denver police sergeant, accompanied by a team of five other officers, first put his hands on Eslocker’s neck, then twisted the producers arm behind him to put on handcuffs.

A police official later told lawyers for ABC News that Eslocker is being charged with trespass, interference, and failure to follow a lawful order. He also said the arrest followed a signed complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel.

Eslocker was put in handcuffs and loaded in the back of a police van which headed for a nearby police station.

Video taken at the scene shows a man, wearing the uniform of a Boulder County sheriff, ordering Eslocker off the sidewalk in front of the hotel, to the side of the entrance.

The sheriff’s officer is seen telling Eslocker the sidewalk is owned by the hotel. Later he is seen pushing Eslocker off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic, forcing him to the other side of the street.

It was two hours later when Denver police arrived to place Eslocker under arrest, apparently based on a complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel, a central location for Democratic officials.

During the arrest, one of the officers can be heard saying to Eslocker, “You’re lucky I didn’t knock the f..k out of you.”

Eslocker was released late today after posting $500 bond.

Eslocker and his ABC News colleagues are spending the week investigating the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the convention for a series of Money Trail reports on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.

A retired NY Police Officer has this to say about the incident:

As a retired cop (25 years NYPD) I usually bristle when I see people screaming about police state tactics. Unfortunately – in this case there is merit to the argument. This bald headed “Sheriff”, or whatever he was, had no business grabbing the reporter around the throat prior to attempting to handcuff him – he was not resisting and no force (least of all a choke hold) was warranted. He then endangered the reporter by pushing him into the street off a public sidewalk. Sorry – sidewalks are public property by nature and law – a business does NOT “own” a sidewalk. I don’t know if the thin oxygen out there in Denver affects these cops, but something is definitely screwed up when a reporter standing on public property is arrested.

My take:

IF and notice I said IF, the facts of this story turn out as they appear in this story ABC needs to lawyer up and bring the Denver PD to its knees with a massive lawsuit. The officers, if this story is at it appears, need to have their names and faces broadcast everywhere for conspiring to and violating the rights of the public and the press. Officers take an oath to uphold the law. When someone in the public trust violates that trust there needs to be consequences. ABC, a threat to the First Amendment anywhere is a threat to our freedoms everywhere. Do not take this lying down. We are all counting on you. Those who are reporting this story – you had better be right. This is important.

One Response to “Denver Police Thuggery? ABC News Needs to Lawyer Up.”

  1. Dave Miller said

    Watching the ” assault ” by the cops on a unarmed reporter on the evening ABC news, made me realize, that probably Denver is not a place to visit. If they can do that to a reporter, what do they do to a member of the public.

    The scene left me wondering, if I was watching the news from one of the Soviet countries, rather than the USA.

    All of those so called ” officers ” should be retrained, and the fat cop with the cigar stuck in his mouth, should be fired ASAP. He brought disgrace to the uniform he was wearing.

    A bleak day for free speech, and to think this will be shown worldwide. They have offended all of us, despite the fact we dont live in Denver. Are they running a police state there?

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