A Denver officer wrote this angry open letter to Chief Robert White following an anti-police protest where the department's fallen officer memorial was defaced with red paint. Reportedly, officers were ordered to stand down during the attack on the memorial and not intervene. The letter was sent to local media, including CBS4.
I find myself at a loss of words, an inability to express how dismayed I am that you have failed to publicly denounce the inexcusable actions by protesters this afternoon. I checked every Denver area news source tonight and could not find any comments or remarks, from you, expressing disgust and anger over the desecration of our memorial to fallen officers.
Further, I have not seen any internal communication, to the honorable members of the Denver Police Department, the brave men and women you were hired to lead, explaining how a despicable act of degradation could even be allowed to occur!
Anger and frustration, by our officers, have dominated social media this evening. The absence of your leadership today is alarming, but – unfortunately – not surprising. Not to lecture you, Sir, but no other law enforcement agency in our part of the United States, meaning Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, have lost more officers in the line-of-duty than the Denver Police Department.
This tragic statistic, this humbling fact reinforces the enduring commitment of Denver Police Officers to put their very lives before all else in carrying out their duties. No other city or state agency has spilled more blood, serving the community, than our officers. That our officers, working the demonstration today, had to watch the outrageous vandalism to our sacred memorial, without being able to intervene, is inexcusable and unacceptable.
Equally alarming is the escalation of anti-police rhetoric in our city, incendiary language and actions that have yet to be countered by city leaders, the Mayor, or yourself. Spray painting “fuck the police” and threatening specific officers, by attaching their names with warnings of retribution, on our venerable memorial, as occurred today, only emboldens acts of future violence.
One has to look no farther than the executions of NYPD Officers Liu and Ramos, and the increase in lethal ambushes on police officers nationwide.
Before the next protest occurs, we need to hear from you. We need to know that you will enact and enforce a policy preventing these anti-social activists from damaging our police memorial and facilities in the future. We need to hear from you that your support our active and retired officers, and the memories of our fallen.
I can’t speak for every DPD officer, but of the four or five hundred I routinely interact with, I can state – as a fact – that we are all desperately craving leadership in our Police Department. You have been absent in this role for three years.
Officer Danny Veith, 94040