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Denver police officer files ethics complaint against Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca

Complaint stems from August homeless sweep attended by Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca
Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca.PNG
Posted at 1:14 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 19:35:42-04

DENVER — A Denver police officer has filed an ethics complaint against City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca regarding an altercation at an Aug. 19 homeless sweep.

Officer Mallory Lutkin filed the complaint Sept. 4 and claims CdeBaca made comments during the incident that she believes may have violated the councilman’s code of ethics and requires further investigation by the Denver Board of Ethics. Denver7 obtained the complaint Monday through an open records request.

According to the complaint, Lutkin responded to the scene near the intersection of 29th and Glenarm streets where she said officers were arresting an armed party and an officer had been assaulted during a protest against the homeless sweep.

Read the full complaint here.

Lutkin states that she was tasked with securing the scene and creating a perimeter as a large group had amassed. The complaint states that CdeBaca stood on the line and asked to speak with a supervisor. She then approached Lutkin and officer Wallace Sam and made comments that Lutkin felt pertained to the officers’ races.

She pointed at Sam, who is black, and said: “You should be ashamed.”

She then pointed at Lutkin, who is white, and said: “You, I would expect this from you.”

She then told officers to look into laws pertaining to slavery.

“When CdeBaca made these statements toward me, I felt she was bringing my race into the issue she had with officers being called to this area," Lutkin wrote. "The statements directed at me insinuated I am racist because I am white.”

Lutkin captured the dialogue on her body-worn camera and this portion of the dialogue was obtained by Denver7 on Sept. 8 in an open records request.

Councilwoman CdeBaca discusses police-protester confrontation after more body camera released

The footage also shows CdeBaca referring to police as “guard dogs.”

“They’re f---ing guard dogs. They’re just animals, like pit bulls,” CdeBaca can be heard saying in the video.

Lutkin said her comments were an attempt to belittle police and “further enflame an already tense situation.”

CdeBaca also made derogatory comments about Mayor Michael Hancock.

After the incident, CdeBaca created a post on social media that included a photo of Lutkin on scene in her uniform. She says in the complaint that the post included anti-police sentiment.

During the event, two officers were assaulted and an officer’s body camera was picked up by protestors.

Video previously obtained shows that the camera, which was still recording, was brought to CdeBaca’s attention. She can be heard on the recording saying that there might be footage on there that she needed, but didn’t know how to access it.

“We could give it to the attorney,” she said.

CdeBaca claims in a statement previously released to Denver7 that she returned the camera to Police Chief Paul Pazen the following day. The complaint states that the camera was returned 51 hours after the incident by “an unknown person.” The information about the stolen body-worn camera was provided to Lutkin by Sgt. John Bronson of District 6.

Lutkin also claims that CdeBaca told protesters to let police hit them because there is a higher liability now and the officers could be sued.

A spokesperson for CdeBaca said the councilwoman was not available for an interview on Monday and had no comment, but found the timing of the complaint “interesting,” referring to a City Council vote Monday regarding raises for Denver police officers.