Denver, CO – A Denver police officer has filed an ethics complaint with the city against Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca for making racist remarks to officers who were handling crowd control during an incident in August (video below).
Denver Police Officer Mallory Lutkin filed the complaint on Sept. 4 about the incident that occurred on Aug. 19, KDVR reported.
The incident occurred while officers were conducting a sweep to clear a homeless encampment near 29th Street and Glenarm Place.
Police said two officers had been assaulted while they were trying to detain an armed suspect, and additional officers had to be called in as backup to secure the area.
“The officers who were assaulted radioed for assistance and a large number of officers responded to the area to move the crowd back,” Denver Police Spokesman Doug Schepman said in an email to KDVR.
Officer Lutkin was one of the officers who responded to handle crowd control that day.
“I responded to the area of 2900 Glenarm on a disturbance while District 2 officers were arresting an armed party and officers had been assaulted,” Officer Lutkin wrote in the complaint. “Upon my arrival I was advised to hold a perimeter post to secure the scene as a large crowd was gathering. While on this line I had my body worn camera activated.”
The officer said in the complaint that CdeBaca arrived at the scene and demanded to speak with a supervisor.
“CdeBaca approached Officer Wallace Sam and I,” Officer Lutkin continued. “CdeBaca pointed at Officer Sam (who is black) and stated ‘You should be ashamed.’ CdeBaca then pointed at me (I am white) and said, ‘You, I would expect this from you.’”
She said in her complaint that the councilwoman then proceeded to lecture the officers holding the line and told them to look up the laws about slavery.
“When CdeBaca made these statements toward me, I felt she was brining my race into the issue she had with officers being called to the area,” Officer Lutkin wrote. “The statements directed at me insinuated I am racist because I am white.”
Then the city councilwoman began to hurl insults at the officers for the benefit of the crowd gathered around her, according to the complaint.
“CdeBaca, while still standing in front of me stated ‘They don’t f–king know they don’t know how to read,” Officer Lutkin wrote.
“This is some coward a—s–t right here; they don’t know this s–t they do what they’re told,” CdeBaca continued, according to the officer’s complaint.
“They’re f–king guard dogs; they’re just like animals, like pit bulls, they’re f–king guard dogs,” Officer Lutkin said the councilwoman told the crowd. “The dumba– mayor sicking his dogs on his own f–king people.”
The complaint said CdeBaca pointed to an officer who was writing something down and said “Look, he is writing! He might know how to read.”
Officer Lutkin called CdeBaca’s actions “an attempt to ridicule police and further enflame an already tense situation.”
She said in her complaint that the councilwoman was “trying to spin up a group of anti-police protesters.”
One officer had four teeth kicked out while trying to arrest a man with an exact replica gun during the incident, and another officer had his bodycam stolen by a protester, according to the complaint.
Officer Lutkin said in her complaint that CdeBaca took pictures of the officers handling crowd control and later posted a picture of her to social media with an anti-police comment.
“The comments made by Councilwoman CdeBaca were meant to dehumanize and humiliate officers on the scene in front of protesters,” the officer wrote in his complaint. “Her comments incited other protesters to demean officers and encouraged them to continue to verbally abuse police officers.”
She also pointed out that in the video that CdeBaca filmed and later posted to Facebook, she encouraged protesters to have physical altercations with officers.
“Let them hit you, there is a higher liability now,” she advised in the video, according to the complaint. “Sue these f–king cops.”
Officer Lutkin said in the complaint that police later learned that the protesters who stole the officer’s bodycam had turned it over to CdeBaca at the protest, but despite knowing the law required the officers to have bodycams filming, she held onto it and did not return it to the officer.
The camera wasn’t returned until 51 hours after it was taken, according to the complaint.
Denver Police Protective Association President Nick Rogers said that CdeBaca didn’t just incite violence against police, she also broke the law, KMGH reported.
“She said on camera ‘we need to get what’s on here,’” Roger said. “That is criminal tampering. That is felony criminal tampering with evidence.”
Officer Lutkin submitted her complaint to both the city’s Ethics Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) commission.
CdeBaca has since removed the video she posted of the incident and refused requests to share it with KDVR.
But Denver police released bodycam video that proved the statements Officer Lutkin made in her complaint were true and showed that CdeBaca plotted with protesters to hold onto the officer’s stolen bodycam.
The Police Tribune reached out to CdeBaca for comment on the complaint but had not received a response at publication time.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Violence and Obscene Language: