Susan Greene was filming officers last July when they took her phone and put her in handcuffs
The Denver Police Department has disciplined two officers involved in handcuffing a Colorado Independent editor who refused to stop photographing an arrest on a public sidewalk last July.
According to disciplinary orders provided to The Denver Post on Tuesday, police determined that Officers Adam Paulsen and James Brooks “were in violation of Denver Police Department Policy” for detaining Susan Greene for recording an officer in a public place.
The officers will each be docked two days’ pay, according to the disciplinary order.
The discipline stems from an encounter on July 5, 2018, at the corner of 14th Avenue and Grant Street, when Greene began filming officers dealing with a man who was sitting naked on the sidewalk.
Officers took Greene’s phone, placed her in handcuffs and led her to the back seat of a police car, the report stated.Greene said Brooks initially approached her in a “ridiculously aggressive way” and that both Brooks and Paulsen told her to “act like a lady.”
“I’m encouraged to see the police department finally, after seven months, take some disciplinary action,” Greene said in an interview Tuesday. “Why it took seven months is beyond me.”
The report, however, failed to address several key aspects of the incident, she added.
“I have serious questions why Officers Brooks’ body camera wasn’t on,” she said. “I’m disappointed that the internal affairs investigation seems to have completely overlooked the fact that those officers, while handcuffing me, told me to act like a lady.”
Colorado law states that “officers may not threaten or intimidate individuals who are recording police activities.”
In a news release, the police department said it has “reiterated to officers policies involving First Amendment considerations,” providing a training bulletin it used with its officers.
“Having the officers involved penalized hopefully sets an example for other officers to see,” Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, said. “Maybe they’ll think twice before doing something similar.”
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann in August declined to press charges against Brooks.
Greene previously worked at The Denver Post as a reporter and columnist. She joined the Independent in 2013.