The Colorado Independent's Editor Susan Greene was handcuffed and detained on July 5 after she tried to document a police incident on Colfax Avenue in Denver.
Greene saw a naked man in handcuffs sitting on the sidewalk surrounded by officers, the news website reported, and stopped to observe. When she began photographing the scene, a Denver police officer told her to stop. After Greene cited her First Amendment right to take pictures on a public sidewalk and photographed the officer's name tag and badge, the officer "grabbed me and twisted my arm," she wrote in a column on July 6. Then, she says, he told her to act like a lady, before handcuffing her and placing her in a police cruiser.
Greene was released after about 10 minutes without explanation. Denver police issued a statement on July 6 saying the man was "in crisis" and was waiting for an ambulance.
Now, Denver police have launched an internal investigation, with oversight by the city's independent police monitor, police said. Mayor Michael Hancock's office issued a statement saying he takes the First Amendment seriously and that "Denver is not about arresting journalists who are doing their job." But he warned against prejudging the situation. Police refused to release records of the handcuffing of the naked man, who they said was later released from a hospital and not arrested.
Meantime, three journalism organizations urged the Denver Department of Public Safety to train officers in citizens' free speech rights.
Read the Independent's story at bit.ly/policedetainment.