Recorded on video firing chemical agents at people who did not pose a threat during the George Floyd protests last year, two Colorado police officers have been suspended for use of unjustifiable force. All three incidents were recorded on police body cam videos.
During a protest that began on May 29, 2020, Denver Police Officer Derek Streeter and a group of fellow officers stood at the intersection of Broadway and 14th as several cars drove by yelling profanities at them. According to Officer Streeter’s body cam video, one of the cars was driving away and no longer posed any potential threat when Streeter fired three PepperBall rounds at the vehicle.
During an interview with internal affairs, Streeter explained that his pepperball gun malfunctioned when he initially attempted to fire at the vehicle. As the car continued driving away, Streeter cleared the malfunction and fired three rounds despite the fact that the vehicle was too far away to pose a threat.
In a second video, Streeter ordered two men standing on the sidewalk to “go home.” When the men questioned the officer and stated that they did not do anything wrong, Streeter fired a PepperBall round at them without justifiable reason.
According to Streeter’s body cam footage, neither of the men posed a threat to him or his fellow officers at any time.
During a separate protest that began on May 31, 2020, Denver Police Officer Diego Archuleta was recorded on police body cam video abruptly firing his oleo-resin capsicum (OC) fogger at a vehicle stuck in traffic. In the video, the female driver of the vehicle asked, “What, they gonna kill this guy?”
Without warning, Officer Archuleta suddenly fired his OC fogger twice directly at the woman’s windshield. In his use of force report, Archuleta wrote, “Once I dispersed the fogger, the female immediately put her window up and put her head down to read her phone. I realized that I made a mistake and walked away from the female and her car.”
Beginning May 23, Archuleta is scheduled to serve a 6-day suspension for his use of force during the George Floyd protests last year. Scheduled to serve his 10-day suspension in two parts, Streeter is currently set to begin his first suspension on June 6 and his second suspension on July 11.