Investigation opened into Denver officers' actions during suspect search at RiseUp Community School

Posted at 11:51 AM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 20:05:26-04

DENVER – An investigation was ordered Thursday morning into an incident that happened last month at RiseUp Community School in which Denver Police Department officers searched the campus for a suspect.

“I have heard the concerns from the community and Independent Monitor regarding the incident that occurred at RiseUp Community School and an administration investigation was opened this morning to review the incident,” said Denver Public Safety Executive Director Troy Riggs in a statement Thursday morning.

The investigation stems from complaints made by teachers, students and local advocacy groups about the DPD search of the school that happened on April 24.

DPD said its officers were looking for an attempted murder suspect that day and had been given confirmation from a school staff member that the suspect was inside. The department said that officers believed the suspect posed a possible threat to students and staff at the school.

But school principal Lucas Ketzer told Denver7 that police never told him about a threat, and he told officers the student wasn’t in the building. Despite his statements, police searched every classroom and allegedly drew their weapons on one teacher who looked out of a door.

But in a statement Wednesday, DPD denied that any officers drew their weapons and said it was working with the school to prevent similar incidents in the future.

"Those lies put the safety of 100 students at risk and those lies are meant for them to save face," Ketzer told Denver7. "I want people to be held accountable."

Staffers, students and advocates said Wednesday they planned to press for an investigation at Thursday night’s school board meeting.