DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s Department of Public Safety released two separate disciplinary orders for two Denver police officers on Tuesday. The orders detail multiple times the officers used unnecessary and excessive force on people during protests in May.
Officers Derek Streeter and Diego Archuleta are now on unpaid suspension.READ MORE: Denver Police Department Accepts Nearly All Recommendations In Independent Monitor Report About Protests
The disciplinary order for Streeter states he fired pepper balls in three different instances on May 29. In one instance, Streeter fired three pepperballs at a vehicle driving south on Broadway away from the protests. The order says a man was hanging out of a window shouting obscenities at the officers.
In an interview with a police sergeant, Streeter said he believed the man posed a threat because the group of officers had already been hit with items being thrown. Streeter says he believed the man was preparing to do the same.
Another instance details Streeter firing a pepperball near a man who asked where to go after Streeter told him to leave the area. The man raised his hands and asked, again, where he should go. Streeter says he fired the pepperball after seeing another man run up from behind the first pedestrian. Streeter says he believed he was going to throw items at the officers.
In the third instance, Streeter fired a pepperball at a woman who yelled obscenities at him. Streeter says she was among a group which previously threw objects at his group of officers.
While the department recognizes Streeter and other officers were hit by objects that night, Mary Dulacki, Chief Deputy Executive Director, says his actions violated policy and his explanations were not plausible.READ MORE: 51 People Plan To Sue Denver Police For Excessive Force, Wrongful Arrests During Summer Protests
Streeter is now on a 10-day suspension which is expected to be served in June. He’s been with the department for six years.
A second officer, Diego Archuleta, admitted his wrongdoing when he sprayed his OC fogger at a stopped vehicle at Broadway and 14th Avenue with a woman inside. The disciplinary order states the woman was stuck in gridlock traffic because of the protest on May 31.
In a disciplinary order for Archuleta, he describes the woman repeatedly shouting at the officers, and officers, including himself, repeatedly telling her to move. When the woman continued, Archuleta sprayed the fogger onto the woman’s windshield. She rolled up her window and appeared to read her phone, Archuleta says.
He added he heard the woman say something about “killing” before spraying the vehicle.
“I realized I made a mistake and walked away from the female and her car,” he said in an interview with Internal Affairs.
Archuleta has been with the department for four years. He is now on a 6-day suspension.
Another officer was fired from the department in June for writing “Let’s start a riot” on a social media post which showed a picture of him and two other officers in riot gear.