2002 March 13

Denver Police Maintains Files on 3,200 People; ACLU Challenges the Practice


The Denver Police Department was reportedly keeping secret files on 208 groups and an estimated 3,200 people, according to the Colorado ACLU, which announced on this day that it would challenge the practice. The mayor of Denver said he was unaware of the files until the ACLU brought them to his attention. A review of the police department’s practices is reportedly underway. One police file involves the Chiapas Coalition, a group devoted to the rights of the indigenous people of Chiapas, Mexico, claiming that the group was “dedicated to the overthrow of the Mexican government.” Other groups were also reportedly labeled “criminal extremist” by the Denver police.

Police databases have had a long history of abuses. Some have involved political groups that engage in public protests but with no suspicion of any criminal activity, actual or planned. In more recent years, gang databases have been indiscriminate and overly inclusive, including the names of individuals who may associate with some people engaged in criminal activity but for whom there is no evidence of any criminal activity.

Learn more about police spying here.

Learn more about police gang databases: http://www.youth4justice.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/TrackedandTrapped.pdf

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