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CSP places trooper on leave while investigating comments to Proud Boys

Posted at 11:56 AM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 13:56:28-04

DENVER — A state trooper has been placed on paid administrative leave while Colorado State Patrol investigates alleged comments he made during a rally at the State Capitol on Saturday, according to CSP.

In a now-unavailable video, a Twitter user posted an interaction showing a trooper allegedly talking to a group of men who laugh at a joke at a rally on the west State Capitol steps. The video post reads, “Denver officer tells group of Proud Boys ‘If you want to fight stick around. I've got a couple of guys they also want to fight, you can jump in on that.’ This was said in reference to a group of anti-fascists who were nearby.”

Proud Boys is a nationwide far-right men’s organization.

The Twitter user said they got the video from a Facebook page titled Frosty Report. An admin on the Facebook page posted on Sunday night that their video was stolen and taken out of context. The post reads, "The officer in the video was sharing his safe exit plan for the permitted rally goers, who had already been attacked by counter-protestors. He made a joke. When he said, 'If you want to fight, stick around I've got a couple of guys who also want to fight,' he was making a joke. It was a light-hearted joke."

Denver7 is working to determine exactly where the video came from.

CSP Spokesperson Trooper Josh Lewis said CSP is aware of the video and the incident and CSP has started an investigation into the circumstances around the video and the statements.

“We’re seriously concerned about the content of the video and the incident itself,” he said.

Deputy CSP Chief Mark Savage said the department is taking the event seriously and will complete a full investigation, as they do with all allegations of misconduct.  

“The Colorado State Patrol is committed to serving our state and preserving the rights of all people,” he said.

There was an event scheduled at the Capitol Saturday called the Rally to Protest Internet Censorship of Conservatives. Lewis said the group had a permit for the event, but couldn’t confirm if that was where the alleged incident happened. CSP provides security for the Capitol building complex and its events.

According to the event’s Facebook page, it planned to gather on the west side of the Capitol for the anti-censorship rally.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.