Denver police chief apologizes for comments on scene of hit and run crash

Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 00:58:33-04

DENVER — Denver's police chief Robert White apologized to his officers Monday afternoon after saying he "joked" with a rival police department after he was the victim of a hit and run crash Friday.

Denver 7 Chief Investigative Reporter Tony Kovaleski was first to break the news of the email that the chief sent at 3:37 p.m. today.

White was treated at the hospital and released after being hit by a minivan around 5 a.m. Friday near the intersection of 16th and White. Police said White made a U-turn to follow the van, which crashed into another vehicle.

The second crash left one driver in critical condition and another driver in serious condition.

Chief White's email sent to officers Monday says in part:

"Aurora police were the first to arrive on scene and in an attempt to break the tension, I joked with them about the friendly rivalry between Denver and Aurora and lateral movement between the departments.

In retrospect, I am concerned that what was meant as a humorous comment was offensive to some officers. For that, I sincerely apologize. I deeply respect and appreciate each of you and the risks you take for the community and me."

Multiple sources tell Denver7 Investigates Chief White's "joking" comment involved calling Denver officers lazy for not arriving at the scene before Aurora did. 

Aurora police wear body cameras but the department has denied requests to release video from the incident, citing their ongoing investigation and their policy not to release body camera video publicly.