DENVER (CBS4)– The Denver Police Department is defending officers who were caught on video taking blankets and tents from homeless people when temperatures dropped to below freezing overnight.
The American Civil Liberties Union posted video on Facebook that shows Denver police officers confiscating blankets from people who were camped out in 20 degree weather.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock talked about what happened, “This is not a widespread practice by the police department. The video clip that you just ran was actually three individuals who were protesting and setting up camp in front of city hall. And after the police asked them to move, they did not, they were cited and their equipment was taken as evidence. But this is not a widespread practice throughout the city and we wanted to make sure that it didn’t go any further and that people understand this is not how we want to operate during these frigid temperatures.”
On Thursday, the Denver Police Department released a statement about what happened.
This comes after a backlash and lawsuit filed against the City of Denver when officers conducted homeless “sweeps” in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood earlier this year.
The City of Denver would like the homeless to move into shelters. Hancock said thousands of people seek shelter indoors overnight but there are still beds available to those who want help.