Colorado journalist wants to hold police accountable for her arrest while recording images

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DENVER — Body camera footage released by the Denver Police Department shows what happened when a Colorado journalist was handcuffed by Denver police officers after taking photographs on a city sidewalk.

Susan Greene said in July when the incident happened that she had just written an article about the encounter with police.

At the time, Greene said she was reluctant to move forward with a lawsuit or complaint. Now, Greene says she’s determined to hold officers accountable.

The video shows what happened when Greene was told to stop recording images of a naked man being detained by police on a city sidewalk.

“There’s also a First Amendment, have you heard of it,” Greene can be heard saying in the video.

The officer responds by saying, “That doesn’t supersede HIPPA.”

“Stand up straight and act like a lady, stand up and act like a lady,” the officer says.

“I think he meant be mute, and be limp, and that’s not the kind of message we need from the police officers,” Greene said Wednesday.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office has said no charges will be filed, but the Denver Police Department has launched an internal investigation.

“The Denver Police Department respects the First Amendment rights of all individuals,” the department said in a statement.

“Guided by that value, the Department trains officers on First Amendment issues, and recently reiterated to officers the relevant policies involving First Amendment considerations.”

“It is not the police’s right, or the city administration’s right or the mayor’s right to decide what stories we’re covering or what questions we’re asking, or where we’re pointing our cameras at,” Greene said.

“If they start pushing us this way and we acquiesce there’s a chilling effect because I didn’t file a lawsuit or pursue changes in the way that police do their jobs, then they’’ll keep doing this, it has to stop somewhere.”

Greene now has a team of lawyers. They’re waiting for their open records request with the city to be fulfilled and for the investigation to be completed.

After that, they’ll decide if they want to file a lawsuit.

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