Denver's Department of Public Safety released two separate disciplinary orders for two Denver police officers on Tuesday.
- Two Denver police officers have been suspended for their actions during last summer's protests. The disciplinary order say the officers used unnecessary and excessive force multiple times in May of 2020. It's the first time we're hearing of Denver officers being held responsible for their treatment of protesters last summer.
- This comes as the Denver Police Department is facing a lawsuit claiming officers put protesters in danger. CBS 4's Tori Mason following the new developments for us tonight, Tori.
TORI MASON: Well Jim, a lot of people were critical over the police's overall response during the protest last year. Now there was one officer who was fired for taking a picture of himself in riot gear and posting the caption on social media saying, let's start a riot, but these officers they're the first within DPD to be disciplined for use of excessive force.
Officer Derek Streeter has been suspended for 10 days without pay. The Department of Public Safety says he fired pepper balls in three different instances on May 29. In one instance, Streeter fired three pepper balls at a car driving away from protests. The order says a man was hanging out of a window and shouting at officers. Streeter said he believed the man posed a threat because a group of officers had been hit by items being thrown.
Officer Diego Archuleta will serve a six day suspension for spraying a woman with pepper spray while she sat in her car. Archuleta said the woman was shouting at officers, and he heard her say something about killing. Archuleta admitted his actions were wrong. Al Gardner, chairman of the Citizen Oversight Board says, their suspensions are a step toward a higher standard of policing.
- I think it's important because it sets the tone for what is to come and how the police need to behave in these types of situations. Ultimately, these types of decisions, hopefully, will lead to the wholesale change in policing, and, hopefully, this is the first step.
TORI MASON: Now DPD told me that Chief Paul Pazen was unable to speak about this matter today because there are still ongoing internal investigations within DPD. We're live in Denver, Tori Mason, "Covering Colorado First".