Man Upset With Way Police Showed His Image After 4/20 Shooting
DENVER (CBS4) – The man police labeled a “person of interest” after the shooting incident at the 4/20 event at Denver’s Civic Center Park on Saturday says he’s upset by the way police put his image out into the public sphere.
Police released video showing Shawn Harris after the shooting incident but at the time didn’t say who he was, only that he might have helpful information related to the non-fatal shooting. The video showed people rushing from the park after the shots rang out, and it’s clearly focused on Harris.
Harris says he didn’t know his face was all over the Internet and on every TV station’s newscasts in Denver until Monday morning.
“I’m like ‘This is crazy. I ain’t got nothing to go do with this,’ ” Harris said.
Police have since questioned Harris about the incident, but took no further action. After the three hour interrogation they sent out a tweet saying:
The person of interest in video released by DPD came in & was interviewed by police & not arrested. The investigation is continuing.
Harris said he’s concerned that the way police handled the situation will have serious consequences.
“(The video) is going to be there, it’s always going to be in people’s heads forever,” Harris said.
Harold McClain, Harris’ father, told CBS4 the images made his son appear guilty.
PHOTO GALLERY: 4/20 Shooting At Civic Center Park
“He’s not known for shootings, carrying guns, or anything, so I just want to clear his name,” his father McClain said.
Harris said police asked him “If I had seen the shooter.”
“They said the shooter threw me a gun. Or threw me something. And they had a witness see me take it and help him get away,” Harris said.
Following the interview Harris said police told him: “If you hear anything just give us a call and if we find out you’re lying, if we catch the gunner or whoever was shooting, if you’re involved with it we’re going to charge you with everythig that he got.”
Harris said he understands police “had to do their job.”
“But I think they could have investigated a little more,” he said.
The shooting disrupted what had been a peaceful gathering celebrating marijuana on Saturday. Thousands ran for their lives after the shots rang out, and some people were trampled and suffered injuries.
Denver police say as part of their investigation they are still looking for a black man who was wearing a gray hoodie, black slacks and a blue Carolina baseball hat. He was described as being 6 feet tall and about 180 pounds. The police’s gang unit is handling the investigation.
A man and a woman each suffered gunshot wounds and a third person was grazed by a bullet.
Councilman Charlie Brown want to end the annual event. He sent a staff member into the park who took pictures of the marijuana smoking. He says they shouldn’t be given inexpensive free speech permits, which he says costs the city a lot of money. Organizers paid $157 for the permit and say required cleanup, port-a-potties and insurance cost much more.
“It is not proper and it’s not fitting to blatantly flaunt our laws between those two buildings that represent our state government as well as our city government,” Brown told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.
“The primary function of the rally is that it’s a political rally with speakers. Even the music content is mandated,” rally organizer Miguel Lopez said.
Denver police have been asking for witness accounts and video that was taken at the time of the shooting. They also posted the following bulletin:
Anyone with information regarding this shooting … please contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can text to CRIMES (274637) then title DMCS and enter your message or send an e-mail to metro-denvercrimestoppers.com. If the information you provide leads to the arrest and charging of a wanted individual, you can receive a cash reward up to $2,000.