Denver Police Union DNC T-Shirts Glorify Beating of Protesters

dncshirt.jpgPolice DNC T-Shirts Create Stir
Written by investigative reporter Brian Maass

E-mail DENVER (CBS4) — A tongue-in-cheek t-shirt poking fun at Democratic National Convention protestors is selling fast and creating some minor controversy along the way.

The shirts were created and distributed by the Denver Police Protective Association, the union that represents most of Denver’s 1,400 police officers.

The front of the black shirt shows the number “68” with a slash through it. One of the primary protest groups at last month’s DNC in Denver called themselves “Recreate 68,” harkening back to the violent, 1968 political convention in Chicago.

The back of the shirt features a menacing-looking police figure, wearing what looks like a Denver police badge and helmet and clutching a baton. He’s looming over the city of Denver along with the slogan, “WE GET UP EARLY, to BEAT the crowds.” Also written across the back of the shirt is “2008 DNC.’

One CBS4 viewer, Seth Barnett, contacted the station to complain about the shirts, writing they “are a terrible representation of our city and its police.” Barnett, a 21-year-old college student, called the shirts “disrespectful,” saying they seemed “like a low blow.”

Barnett said he was appalled by the shirts and wrote Denver’s mayor and the police department to complain.

“I want an answer,” the Barnett wrote, “of why they take the harm of our citizens and guests as a joke.” He said he thinks the shirts are a poor representation of the city and its police force.

There were 154 protestors arrested during the August convention; many taken into custody following a Monday night melee with police along 15th Street.

The Denver police detective who produced the shirts, Det. Nick Rogers, says he has received no complaints until now. He said the shirts are being sold for $10 each at the Police Protective Association Offices.

Rogers, who is on the Board of the Police Protective Association, said the shirts were produced because police typically create commemorative shirts to mark big events like the DNC. He said the PPA will likely sell a couple thousand of the shirts. They went on sale following the convention and he said every Denver police officer was given one free. Beyond that, he said officers from other departments like Lakewood police and the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department have been clamoring for the shirts and have ordered dozens more. He said after the initial printing, there was so much demand he had to reorder more shirts.


  1. “I guess free speech and satire are only for the left”

    Not at all, but satire that “pokes fun” at police brutality is just as funny to those of us who are emotionally healthy as poking fun at rape or children being forced into prostitution.

    It isn’t funny.

    It is sick.

    I get it. I work with law enforcement. The very day after the 35W bridge collapsed a group of officers and trainers I was working with collected money for a “dead pool” betting on how high the death toll would eventually go. There is a certain hard-edged humor that comes with a job that puts you in a position to see dead bodies and sometimes kill people while responsibly honoring your duties as a police officer. That doesn’t mean that sick humor should be put on display publicly.

    Those that have a healthy understanding of proper social and ethical boundaries understand that. Those that don’t make t-shirts like these and/or are on display by their posts above.

  2. I guess free speech and satire are only for the left. What a bunch of whiners and cry babies. The t-shirt is funny but the protest crowd is unhappy because the City shut them down at the DNC before they could get started. Get over it and move on.

  3. Great T-Shirt, I am calling friends at Denver PD to get one. Lighten up you guys, it is free speech at work. You guys just can’t stand that we have the war won in Iraq and will now win in Afghanistan. As a vet of both conflicts I can tell you our enemies appreciate you!

  4. I’m sorry Nathan, but having had friends arrested without cause, shot in the back with a rubber bullet, hit in the face with a fragment of a concussion grenade and known of a number of others beaten while in jail I am not going to “lighten up”.

    Police brutality is not something to be laughed off.

    This t-shirt is disgusting. Those that had it made and distributed should be suspended.

  5. This is just poking at the protestors that wanted to recreate 1968 which was just violence and has no relevance to the current election. Lighten up.

  6. I have the greatest respect for Denver Police officers, but this is a totally unnecessary blot on their reputation and on the

    City of Denver’s reputation. Mayor Hickenlooper must be proud.
    After doing a great job hosting the DNC, now this.

    Our group has performed over 130 impeachment events in Denver in the last 18 months and the Denver Police have been tolerant and have treated us well.

    We give them the respect they deserve and do our best to do what we do legally. Same goes for the State Troopers at the State Capital complex. Good officers.

    Apparently one officer who is a police union board member may have made the decision on his own.
    A shame.

    I would really hate to believe, even for a second that any Denver Police officer harbored such a low opinion of voters, our Constitutional Right To Dissent, and the Constitution itself,


    IT IS A DIRECT INSULT TO THE VOTERS OF DENVER regardless of politics.

    Good lord. What were you thinking?

    by John H Kennedy
    Impeach Colorado Coalition


  7. This is pretty typical of Denver police. They will shoot handicapped 15 year old kids while they lie in bed and make a joke about it later. I’ve lived in many cities and states and while Colorado is one of the best, their police force is one of the worst and most corrupt I have ever seen.

  8. This is disgusting and totally anti-american. BEAT the crowds? You mean the crowds you swore an oath to serve and protect? Oh yeah, THOSE crowds. Nick Rogers is a bastard, and any policeman who thinks the shirt is funny or appropriate is unfit for duty, because they obviously don’t know what their jobs are. They think their job is to protect the powers that be from the PEOPLE, not the other way around. They are not honorable and deserve no respect.

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