DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Police has released body camera video showing incidents from the 2020 George Floyd protests that led to two officers’ suspensions.
One set of videos shows Officer Derek Streeter shooting a pepper ball weapon in the direction of pedestrians and at passing cars, despite no noticeable physical provocation. Streeter received a 10-day suspension.
The other video shows Officer Diego Archuleta spraying a device at a woman who was sitting in traffic after she yelled from the driver’s seat of her car, “Are they going to kill this guy?”
Andy McNulty, an attorney who represents six people with claims against police for their actions during the protests, said the discipline is inadequate.
“A slap on the wrist when there was systematic police misconduct and brutality during these protests is just not enough,” McNulty said. “To discipline officers now, almost a year later, and give them a couple of days vacation, seems like it’s just insufficient.”
One of McNulty’s clients is Darrell Hampton, who captured cell phone video of an officer shooting a pepper ball directly at him during the protests. The impact knocked the cell phone from Hampton’s hand as the device exploded near him.
“I think it’s good that some are getting disciplined, but I think that they definitely need to make sure that this happens to all the officers who were making, like, egregious, aggressive actions like that to protesters,” Hampton said.
Hampton said the incident he recorded was shocking, because he was just standing there and not yelling or throwing anything when he was struck.
“There was a group of officers. They were about to drive off, and I was recording them just so I could post it and show that these officers are really in full riot gear for a peaceful protest,” he said. “As I was recording, they were getting onto their truck and leaving, and only one officer fired a shot, and he fired it at me. The pepper spray still exploded in my face….it seemed like he was aiming for my head.”
According to the December Office of the Independent Monitor report that evaluated the police response to the protests, more than “100 investigations were opened by DPD’s IAB into complaints filed with the OIM, DPD, City council and Executive Director of Safety.” The OIM also reported having referred “24 additional (Body Worn Camera) videos to the DPD for review and investigation.”
The Denver Police Department would not provide further comment about the discipline handed down to Streeter and Archuleta or future discipline that might come.
Neither Archuleta nor Streeter responded to emails sent to them by the FOX31 Problem Solvers, but they still have an opportunity to appeal the discipline.
Hampton said he is not hopeful that the person who fired at him will be held accountable.
“I was more hopeful towards the beginning that that officer was going to be held accountable, but I think at this point, I’m just not very hopeful that he’s going to be held accountable in an appropriate way,” Hampton said. “I still hope he is. I think based on his actions, it’s hard to think that he should be policing people, you know, or protecting the public, but I’m just not very hopeful.”
McNulty said the Denver Police Department must take further disciplinary action against others.
“It’s ridiculous, and Denver needs to take significant action to stop this from happening again in the future. Otherwise, they’re just sending a message to their officers that they can just use force against peaceful protesters, and nothing will happen to them,” he said.