ABC News: ABC Reporter Arrested in Denver Taking Pictures of Senators, Big Donors

ABC News: ABC Reporter Arrested in Denver Taking Pictures of Senators, Big Donors ABC News has a disturbing report (complete with a video of the incident) where one of their producers, Asa Eslocker, was arrested on a public street while attempting to take pictures of Democratic Senators leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.

An as of yet unnamed Denver police sergeant literally pushes Eslocker into the street and then has him arrested. In the video he mentions that he’s impeding traffic, but it is clear to anyone watching that he is being forefully pushed into the street by the cop. The same cop then is heard on video telling people to shut their cameras off.

From ABC News:

“It was two hours later when Denver police arrived to place Eslocker under arrest, apparently based on a complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel, a central location for Democratic officials.

During the arrest, one of the officers can be heard saying to Eslocker, “You’re lucky I didn’t knock the f..k out of you.”

Eslocker was released late today after posting $500 bond.

Eslocker and his ABC News colleagues are spending the week investigating the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the convention for a series of Money Trail reports on ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson.” “

The sad thing is that this gets tons of attention of course because these idiotic cops were stupid enough to engage national media covering a politically sensitive story — at the same time this sort of police harassment, security guard harassment, etc. happens all over the place to people who can’t do anything about it every single day. Most of the time people just do what they are told by the cops and move along. But people shouldn’t have to move along. A public sidewalk is a public sidewalk and it belongs to us not to them.

I hope the cops in this case lose their jobs. I hope the department is sued and forced to pay millions of dollars that takes away from their ability to fight real crime. Because until this sort of stuff gets the visibility that is needed, abusive authority figures are going to continue overstepping their bounds again and again and again. It’s only when they really fear for their jobs, their incomes and their own personal safety that hopefully cops like this one will begin to check themselves before pushing other people around.

Seriously, take a few minutes to watch this video (it’s short) and see what we are up against.

To add to the bad cop stereotype one of the cops comes complete with a lit cigar in his mouth as he puts the handcuffs on Eslocker.

Update: I’ve been on the phone with both the Denver Police Department as well as the Denver Sheriff’s Departments this morning trying to obtain a police report on this incident. I haven’t been able to get through to anyone at the Denver Police Department yet but have left several messages. I was able to get through to Mary Dulacki, the Records Coordinator for the Sheriff’s Department who just sent me the following email regarding my request to view the Sheriff’s Department report on this incident:

“Tom-

There is no “report” per se in this incident. Asa Eslocker was charged
with interference with a police officer, trespass and failure to obey a
lawful order on a GSS&C; (General Sessions Summons and Complaint). On a
GSS&C;, the officer writes notes on the summons itself which is filed
with the Denver County Court. To get a copy of the notes, you need to
go to Denver County Court.”

Update #2: According to Winds of Change, they’ve received a response back on the incident from the Brown Palace Hotel.

“The ABC news cameras were intruding on the entrance of the hotel, creating
an unsafe entrance/exit for our guests, which are our priority at all
times. The police department asked them to move to the side several times
so that our guests could enter/exit, and ABC refused. ABC was clearly told
that they could stand on the sidewalk but it is illegal to block an
entrance to any business, which is what they were doing. After not
complying with the police requests, they were then asked to move to the
other side of the street. It is our understanding that ABC continued to
speak belligerently to the police and were arrested for not complying with
police orders. The arrest resulted from issues between the police and ABC,
not The Brown Palace Hotel.”

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  1. Brian says:

    Oh boy. Maybe this one will get some good attention!

  2. Are you sure that was not filmed in South Ossetia? American police would not treat US citizens with such incivility would they? What was that reporter thinking?

  3. Vandyll.net says:

    Holy crap… Have we really gotten to the point where cops will do this while they KNOW they are being filmed by the media? Do they believe that this will be tolerated?

    I particularly like the part where they one cop is telling them to shut off the camera while one of the others has his hand around the guy’s throat.

    Someone should definitely lose their job on this one.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Simply unbelievable. I hope the cops get their asses handed to them. This kind of crap needs massive media attention. I’m hoping to see this on ABC World News. Simply unreal…

  5. Tim Solley says:

    Wow, this one is going to create quite the firestorm.

    I see ABC creating a really big deal about this. Not only to get some justice, but because this makes for great news stories. People love these David vs. Goliath stories, and ABC now has the chance to give the people a whopper.

    I’ll keep my eyes glued to this one. I hope those cops lose their jobs and end up as private security guards at the local meatpacking plant.

    Can you say “top story on Digg”?

  6. Sean Gentry says:

    Can’t wait to see the pro-fascist response to this one. Is the ABC reporter some sort of rabble-rouser out there just trying to get attention for himself? Perhaps they will say that the Democrats felt rightly threatened and were justified in having the photographer Blinted.

    Thanks for sharing this Tom, and like you I hope it gets very wide attention. I know I’ve heard about it on the radio, but I haven’t seen much about it on the mainstream websites. Let’s hope it spreads.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What do you want to bet the cop with the big cigar in his mouth got it from one of the bigwigs running the party? It’s not the kind of thing a cop would carry with him on duty, but it’s just the kind of thing you’d find at a big-money gathering of lobbyists and politicians. And it’s just the kind of thing a big-money lobbyist might slip to a cop with a wink, while asking him to go and arrest a member of the press who was lawfully filming on the public sidewalk.

    I wonder how much that cigar was worth? It’s an important question; if the cop got it from one of the “meeting” organizers, it’s a bribe.

    I wonder if it was an illegally imported Cuban cigar. That would really be the icing on the cake.

  8. Anonymous says:

    ABC News reported arrested in Denver

    Mug Shot posted here:

    http://www.ersnews.com/PicODay/Eslocker_LG.jpg

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cops = Jock with Guns.

    What pricks. Can anyone find out the names of any of the cops involved in this?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi Thomas, First I want to thank you for all the photo’s and all the other entertaining pieces on your blog. I too am appalled that this could happen in the US, the bastian of ‘freedom’ for the rest of the world. (I’m Irish btw)

    However there is one thing that bothers me about this post and that’s this paragraph…

    “I hope the cops in this case lose their jobs. I hope the department is sued and forced to pay millions of dollars that takes away from their ability to fight real crime. Because until this sort of stuff gets the visibility that is needed, abusive authority figures are going to continue overstepping their bounds again and again and again. It’s only when they really fear for their jobs, their incomes and their own personal safety that hopefully cops like this one will begin to check themselves before pushing other people around.”

    I’m dissapointed by this, it reads like you would rather have no police force than a corrupt one and the last sentence is a call to inflict harm on police officers. I’ve always thought you were right to highlight these ‘abuse of power’ issues but I think that paragraph goes way to far.

  11. Thomas Hawk says:

    I’m dissapointed by this, it reads like you would rather have no police force than a corrupt one and the last sentence is a call to inflict harm on police officers. I’ve always thought you were right to highlight these ‘abuse of power’ issues but I think that paragraph goes way to far.

    Anonymous, I definitely want a police force. I’d just rather have departments drill it into their head over and over and over again that they should not harass people doing legal things, especially photography. I’m not sure of a better way to get their attention than to begin seeing corrupt cops lose their jobs and departments sued and lose valuable resources. If the cops in this incident are fired and the Department suffers financial loss over this then I believe that at least in Denver, the message will get out that cops need to treat people better.

    Cops are public servants. They are there to protect and to serve. Pushing a guy into the street and then accusing him of impeding traffic in the street is not protecting and serving. Telling a guy that he’s lucky he didn’t get his lights knocked out is not protecting and serving.

    I support the police and I support and know many cops. I have friends and family who are cops. But unless this sort of thing gets higher visibility I’m not sure it’s not just going to keep happening over and over again.

    I’m not sure that the message is getting across as it is now and unfortunately hitting both police officers and departments financially may be the only thing to actually get their attention.

  12. Vandyll.net says:

    “While I do not believe the police should have treated Asa as they did by shoving him in the street, they possibly had good cause to arrest him.”

    Possibly? Well that’s good enough for me then!

    As for “blocking” the hotel entrance, the hotel entrance opens onto a public sidewalk. So where is their legal right to tell people that they can’t be in that area?

  13. Anonymous says:

    You know, the Denver police DID just break up a potential assassination plot, so maybe it’s a bit premature to hope for them losing millions of dollars to fight real crime.

    One asshole does not a police department make. Maybe it’s the hotel Obama is staying in, which would justify keeping the entrance/exit clear – so as not to create a bottleneck where shit could go down.

    I agree that the cop acted inappropriately, regardless of what the reporter did. I agree that photographers rights are important and should be protected and defended. I *do not* agree that photographer’s rights are absolute in every instance.

  14. Brad says:

    Amazing and stupid…

  15. Anonymous says:

    hehe..glad some of u are comming around.This is not news for some people and some communities. It often takes a certain segment of society to notice something before things change.

  16. Anonymous says:

    hehe..glad some of u are comming around.This is not news for some people and some communities. It often takes a certain segment of society to notice something before things change.

  17. Cassandra says:

    Makes ABC look like modern day Medgar Evers’ and here we’re told times are changing.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well that is clearly out of order, the police should use only reasonable force, and that was unreasonable!

    No way I would of let him push me or grab my throat.

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