According to Denver Police, the REI flagship store near downtown Denver, Colorado is a haven for violent terrorist protesters who plan to camp out and disrupt the Democratic National Convention next week.
In a recently disclosed "Special Bulletin," the Denver Police Department are asking all area police, sheriff, fire and ambulance personnel to be on the lookout for items that can be used by terrorists. The items listed on their special bulletin include: Bicycles (they can block streets and sidewalks and stop emergency response vehicles), Bike helmets (because this is what terrorists wear, according to Denver police), Maps, and Camping information, especially when they're stored inside old buildings.
I've done my part to protect the American Way by informing the Denver Police of a very large stockpile of these items at old Denver Tramway building at 1416 Platte Street near downtown.
Seriously, what's especially offensive is the idea that bikes and bike helmets might seem "out of place" to police officers in downtown Denver. This bulletin is just the permission cops like Michael Cordova need to harass cyclists who just want to get around. I don't see any kind of motor vehicle on the list of suspicious items distributed by Denver police, yet cars and trucks are more capable at blocking sidewalks and streets and blockading emergency response than any group of cyclists. Cyclists can be physically lifted and removed.
In 2002, it was found that Denver Police kept records that labeled local citizens as "criminal extremists" in spite of a lack of any criminal record. This intelligence gathering started in 1953; the Denver Spy Files had information on over 3000 individuals and 200 organizations. The ACLU filed suit in 2002 and settled with Denver in 2003. Though Denver was supposed to have changed its spy gathering policies with the 2003 settlement, this document seems to indicate the same old stuff from them.
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Total overreaction to this. What are they supposed to say? "Guys, if you happen to find a house filled with bike helmets, shields, gas masks, and cases of nails, what ever you do DON'T BE SUSPICIOUS". I have no doubt that the Denver PD has done some pretty shady things, but yours seems to be the wrong reaction.
=v= When I was arrested for riding my bicycle during the RNC four years ago, some NYPD officers tried to taunt us by telling us utter nonsense about ourselves in a knowing manner. It was actually pretty comical. I recognized the nonsense from the tabloids, so I just assumed that these officers were Daily News readers.
Later I learned that the tabloids got their material from the FBI and the NYPD top brass, who'd also used it to misinform their officers with a series of "intellegence" bulletins.
Overreaction, considering what happened April 4 - and just how much else has happened that wasn't caught on tape? I don't think so. Re-interpreting situations as least or most suspicious is a pretty common way to justify blatant injustice. Hey, as long as *you're* not a victim then it's a whole lot safer to side with the guy who's got the power.