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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/10/2002 8:18:43 PM EST
[url=www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_1244047,00.html]Panel says Denver should destroy police 'spy files' Judges blame problems on data-entry errors; Copwatch activists say report is a 'whitewash'[/url] By Peggy Lowe and Sarah Huntley, News Staff Writers July 3, 2002 The Denver Police Department's "spy files" on thousands of people should be destroyed, but police officers shouldn't be punished for violating their own policy on intelligence gathering. That's the recommendation a three-judge panel will offer Mayor Wellington Webb today in response to the ongoing uproar over DPD's intelligence files on noncriminal protesters. The panel also wrote in its report that the 208 groups and 3,277 people who are in the computerized files should get to see the information on them but only if they call the police department within a 60-day period. The panel said most of the problems stem from a lack of computer training for detectives who entered the information into a criminal intelligence database. "There is no indication that any of the information was retained intentionally to harm someone or to inhibit the exercise of First Amendment-protected activities, and there is no indication that anyone has been harmed by the police department's collection of such information," the panel wrote. But Mark Silverstein, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the subjects of the files, disagreed. "These files are the documentation of a major case of police misconduct," he said. "They are the documentation of what can happen when there are not effective procedures for police accountability." Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman declined to discuss the specifics of the report, saying he only had seen a draft copy of the executive summary. Activists Stephen and Vicki Nash, members of Copwatch and subjects of a file, called the report "a whitewash." "I don't buy the proposition that somehow this was a data-entry mistake. A computer didn't send those officers out to make reports on me," Stephen Nash said. Webb spokesman Andrew Hudson said the mayor wouldn't comment on the report until after speaking with the panel today. Webb may accept its recommendations in whole or in part, he said. The judges, who were appointed by Webb in March, are Jean E. Dubofsky, former Colorado Supreme Court justice, and Roger Cisneros and William G. Meyer, both former Denver District Court judges. Protesters' files became part of a central criminal intelligence database "as a result of transferring information from a Rolodex to a sophisticated computer program," in 2000, the report said. According to the judges, detectives didn't get the proper training or assistance because of a lack of funding. As a result, protesters with no criminal records became intermingled with other categories, such as people who have threatened visiting dignitaries or "mental cases," the report said. After the files are destroyed, only people thought to be engaged in "current criminal activity" should be re-entered into the database, the report said. The information should be regularly reviewed, the panel recommended.
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 8:22:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 8:24:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By 1GUNRUNNER: [i]sigh[/i]
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Link Posted: 7/10/2002 8:28:32 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 8:48:01 PM EST
Can you say Field Interview Report (F.I.R.) Every police department uses them, anytime you come in contact with anyone who you even remoteley believe is, or ever was involved in any kind of criminal activity you fill one out on them. For example, say I am patroling a certain area one night and I see a couple of young kids hanging around a vacant building, I can stop and do a F.I.R. on them and turn it into the detectives. If there is a crime at that building in the next few months those two are going to be the first two people we go and talk to. I hardly call them "spy files". I can't believe the Chief was trying to cover them up.
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