An editor and reporter for The Colorado Independent who photographed two police officers as they surrounded a handcuffed nearly naked African-American man was subsequently detained and told to “act like a lady” by the officers, who claimed that she was interfering in the arrest. Eight weeks after the officers’ July 5 altercation with veteran investigative reporter Susan Greene — who has previously covered incidents of police brutality targeting African-American men — police released body camera footage that Greene said confirmed her account that the officers behaved improperly in detaining her.
In the video, police officers James Brooks and Adam Paulsen can be seen demanding that Greene stop photographing by erroneously claiming that doing so violated the man’s HIPAA rights — the rights that outline an individual’s right to medical privacy. When Greene points out that she’s allowed to photograph the arrest because of the First Amendment, the officers threaten to arrest her “for interference” and then swiftly handcuff her seconds later as she turns her iPhone camera to record the officers’ badges.
“Stand up straight, act like a lady,” Paulsen told Greene.
“Stand up and act like a lady,” repeated Brooks.
“Are you fucking kidding me? Act like a lady?” an incensed Greene responded.
The officers then led a handcuffed Greene to the car as she complained that they were hurting her — a charge to which they responded by saying that she was only pain because she was “resisting.”
The district attorney’s office has refused to pursue charges against the officers on the basis that there are exemptions for police in regards to charges of false imprisonment, and that a jury was unlikely to rule the case as assault. Eight weeks later, a police investigation into the incident is still ongoing. The Independent, however, has stated that in the absence of any real action that officials at the paper may decide to file a legal claim themselves. The release of the body camera footage, Greene said, shows the event “squares exactly like I remember it.”
“The only thing I didn’t realize is that when it was happening, both of the police officers told me to act like a lady, which raises the question: How exactly should a lady act when being wrongly detained on a public sidewalk for exercising First Amendment rights?” she said.
Watch the body camera footage below.
Read the full story at The Colorado Independent.