BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — The University of Colorado Boulder Police Department says an officer has been placed on administrative leave for allegations of racism, antisemitism and unprofessional conduct.
CU Boulder police announced the internal affairs investigation for the officer, later identified as Drew Matthews, in a response to a Twitter thread by SAFE Boulder.
“We found the Reddit account of University of Colorado Boulder Police Department Officer Drew Matthews and it’s full of anti-homeless and anti-Black comments, including a call to attack homeless people with high pressure fire hoses,” SAFE Boulder shared.
CU Boulder police released the following statement from Chief Doreen Jokerst to FOX31 on Tuesday morning:
“We would like to thank members of our community for bringing this to our attention. CUPD takes allegations of this nature very seriously. We are taking immediate action to conduct an internal investigation. The officer in question is being placed on paid administrative leave.”
Local civil rights attorney Daniel Williams said something has to be done to change how police view the homeless in Boulder.
“This is just the routine way police officers in this community are speaking. This is not an isolated problem. This is a culture of law enforcement gone awry in our community,” Williams said.
A member of SAFE Boulder told FOX31 Tuesday the comments were reprehensible and disgusting.
The Safe Access for Everyone group discovered the comments.
“There’s a lot of contempt for poor and homeless people in Boulder and a lot of myth-making that goes around to demonize all of them,” SAFE member Emerson Book said.
A woman who was homeless at one time said the unfair treatment of people living on the streets is common here.
“I’m also not unfortunately not surprised. These types of comments and behaviors and attitudes, they can easily align with the culture that goes along with criminalizing anyone,” Jennifer Livovich said.
CUPD said the incident has been referred to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance and to CUPD’s professional standards unit for investigation.