“Criminals With Badges”: Denver’s Militarized Police
William N. Grigg
“I been forced to write my own laws, and you violated one in there. I just have to find you guilty of contempt of cop.”
Bumper Morgan, Joseph Wambaugh’s eponymous Blue Knight, justifying his brutal assault on a young man who had casually insulted him.
Jared Lunn, a 21-year-old volunteer firefighter from Brighton, Colorado, visited Denver’s LoDo district to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The evening was quite pleasant until Jared, who was carrying a pizza and minding his own business, was suddenly punched in the face and knocked flat by someone he had never met.
Shortly after the assailant scurried away the police arrived, and Jared’s night took a pronounced turn for the worse.
Perhaps Jared was unaware of the axiom that it is never a good idea to ask the police for help.
Perhaps the fact that he is involved in a “public safety” role led Jared to assume that the police would treat him with courtesy and professionalism. In any case, Jared told Officer Eric Sellers that he had just been assaulted and that he wanted to press charges. Sellers told the victim to go home, and he wasn’t impressed when Jared appealed to him as a fellow “public servant.”
“Way to `protect and serve,’” muttered Jared in disgust as he walked away.
A violent assault on a mere Mundane is a trivial matter — but this was a clear-cut case of “contempt of cop,” and it could not go unpunished.