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September 24, 2008

Denver Police Union DNC T-Shirts Glorify Beating of Protesters

Filed under: Colorado,Related to Impeachment — Mikael @ 12:33 pm

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. 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.

    Comment by eric — September 24, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

  2. 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.

    Comment by Matt — September 24, 2008 @ 1:09 pm

  3. 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


    Comment by John H Kennedy, Denver CO — September 24, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  4. 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.

    Comment by Nathan — September 25, 2008 @ 8:00 am

  5. 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.

    Comment by Mikael — September 25, 2008 @ 8:04 am

  6. 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!

    Comment by Spike Ritz — September 26, 2008 @ 8:33 am

  7. And the saddest thing is that Spike Ritz will be allowed to vote and even to reproduce.

    “we have the war won in Iraq”

    Oh really?

    Comment by Mikael — September 26, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  8. OMG! This is horrendous! Why did these shirts not come out before the DNC! I have to get me one of those!

    Comment by Ian — September 26, 2008 @ 11:04 am

  9. 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.

    Comment by Leisureman — September 26, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  10. “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.

    Comment by Mikael — September 26, 2008 @ 12:03 pm

  11. To those of you saying “lighten up”, take a look at this protester who was assaulted during the RNC in St. Paul, MN…

    Comment by KR — September 27, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

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when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."
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• If we impeach Bush, we’ll get President Cheney!
The first impeachment resolution introduced by McKinney included Bush, Cheney, and Rice. Although, even if we only initially pursue Bush, initiating the impeachment process will lead to an investigation that will implicate lots of people in the Bush administration who are guilty of committing crimes, including Cheney.

No matter who we get to replace Bush, we’ll be showing those in power that anyone who breaks the law will be held accountable.

• Promoting impeachment will seem too “extreme.”
Demanding that crimes be investigated is NOT extreme. Some previous impeachment attempts were considered extreme because they were pursued for actions that didn't rise to the level of a Constitutional crisis, which is what the impeachment tool is meant to be used for. Nixon's impeachment, however, was bipartisan.

  • We should wait to impeach...
Wait to impeach? We've waited 3 or more years too long already. We had enough evidence to impeach years ago. Remember, an impeachment only means you have enough evidence to warrant a trial, just like an indictment. Our congress people didn't take an oath to bipartisanship. They took an oath to the Constitution. Besides which, our troops, Iraqi civilians, and our own civil liberties are all waiting for this.
• Before we impeach, we should get some legislation passed...
And with unconstitutional Presidential Signing Statements, veto power, and the power of "Commander in Chief" at his disposal, how do you think Congress is going to get anything accomplished without first impeaching Bush?

If your tire blows while you're driving, do you stop to fix it? Or do you continue driving on your rim because to stop would take too much time?

• It hurts the democracy to go through a presidential impeachment. And Bush is a lame duck anyway.
Holding government officials accountable for their actions strengthens our democracy. Letting lawlessness stand weakens it.

Sometimes reprimanding a child (president) doesn't make the family (Washington) a happy place. But you still have to do it so the child and his siblings (future presidents) learn about accountability. Impeachment is horribly UNDERUSED, which is part of why there's so much corruption at the top. Politicians must learn to fear it. People think things are better because we improved the make-up of our law-making body, Congress. But Bush is BREAKING LAWS. So, it doesn't matter how many laws Congress passes if they don't serve their OVERSIGHT duties as well by impeaching. They swore to defend the Constitution. What are laws without enforcement?

Besides, considering Bush's track-record of breaking laws, he can still do a lot of damage. Our troops, Iran, and our Supreme Court are all endangered so long as he remains in office. Waiting until Bush is out of office will leave us complicit in any further crimes he commits. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that the death toll from a "tactical" nuclear weapon of the kind Bush is contemplating using in Iran would be at minimum 3 million men, women, and children. The path of death would stretch across country boundaries into India.

Perhaps worst of all, we set a terrible precedent by allowing Bush to stay in office after he's broken so many laws. Impeachment will stop future presidents from using Bush's actions as justification for even more lawbreaking and erosion of civil liberties.

• I'm a Democrat/
Republican. If we support impeachment it will lower the chances of my party winning in 2008.

So, your party would rather win elections than do what's right for the country? I hope you're wrong. I also hope the public is willing to throw additional support to any party that holds our elected officials accountable for their actions. This has been historically true with every single impeachment effort launched. And this impeachment effort would begin with majority support (unlike most past impeachments including Nixon).

• Impeachment will never happen. Congress members will block it.
Well, all we need is a majority of support in the House. And 2/3rds vote in the Senate to remove Bush from office will happen once the evidence gets aired on the floor of the House, and subsequently the national media outlets. The political pressure will become too great.

Today's impossibility is tomorrow's reality. Congress members will realize that tying their political future to Bush reduces their chances of getting elected. Remember, one way or another, Bush is gone by 2009— but members of Congress may retain their offices beyond that date. Bush's poll numbers are extremely low, and most Americans support impeachment. This is a bipartisan movement. This means that if we make the pressure unbearable for Members of Congress, they'll turn on him to keep their own seats (like they did with Nixon). It's already starting to happen. While many Members of Congress have behaved unethically in the last few years, it's important to understand that this is related to their warped view of what's in their self-interest. Let's wake them up to their true self-interest (impeaching the president), by showing them our support for impeachment.

And even if we only impeach, and the Senate fails to do their duty and remove him from office, it will only implicate the Senators who fail to do their sworn Constitutional duty.

• But Speaker of the House Pelosi said that Impeachment was "off the table."

Pelosi most likely said this to remove any appearance of conflict-of-interest that would arise if she were thrust into the presidency as a result of the coming impeachment. What we need to do is to pressure Pelosi not to interfere with impeachment maneuverings within her party. Sending her Do-It-Yourself impeachments legitimizes her when she joins the impeachment movement in the future.

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