GJPD Exposed

Former GJPD Officer Coyne’s Victim Sues PD

Posted in Coyne, GJPD, Grand Junction, police violence, Uncategorized by GJPD Exposed on July 20, 2010

Way back last fall GJPD officer Coyne was arrested for sexual assault and fired. Coyne had responded to a Domestic Dispute, and then after work he allegedly went back to the victims house and sexually assaulted her.

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Coyne after bonding out of jail. Took his own life with a bullet in a Denver Freeway Motel.

It was later discovered that Coyne had had a similar complaint against him but the District Attorney and the PD’s internal investigation found that there was a lack of evidence to proceed.

Read the Sentinel’s story here.

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Cops Attack Camps; Chief Camper Cleans House

Photobucket*from Vol. 8 No. 6 of The Red Pill*

One Grand Junction Police officer resigned, and another is on paid administrative leave, after an earlier investigation turned up evidence that GJPD officers pepper sprayed property, like sleeping bags, that belonged to local houseless folks. Six more officers were questioned on this matter. The pepper spray was supposedly meant to act as a deterrent, as a signal from the PD to the victimized houseless to “move along.” The incident is still under investigation.

The earlier investigation, conducted as a result of a Monday, May 3rd incident in which police slashed tents and bicycle tires at a local houseless encampment, resulted in the firing of three GJPD officers; Justin Roberts, Joseph Mulcahy and Phillip Van Why. The officers were accused of slashing tents, trashing camps (including smashing Oreos and bananas with a baton at one camp), and slashing bike tires. There was also an unidentified liquid found on sleeping bags at at least one camp. The officers were allegedly looking for a person for questioning.

On Wednesday May 5th, long time Red Pill editor and contributor and Housing First! No More Deaths! activist, Jacob Richards, filed a complaint regarding police being in the area known as “the Point” at the time the damage occurred. This launched a GJPD internal investigation and a criminal investigation conducted by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. The officers were placed on paid administrative leave by Friday May 7th, and were fired four weeks later.

The District attorney decided not to charge the three officers involved in the May 3rd incident, even though the internal investigation revealed they did admit to the slashing.  The three former officers then appealed their firings, claiming their actions were consistent with training and practices of the GJPD. The appeal brought to light other earlier incidences involving GJPD officers and Grand Junction’s houseless folks, like the pepper spray incident currently under investigation. The chief of police and the city disagree with the accused, and have investigated and sanction officers involved in earlier incidents. The former officers’ appeal was denied by Deputy City Manager, Rich Englehart.

The GJPD and Chief Camper have been besieged with scandal this past year, but he seems to be doing some housecleaning.  Last summer, Officer Crooks resigned after being arrested with Domestic Abuse, for which he was later acquitted. Followed a month later by the arrest and termination of Officer Coyne for Sexual Assault. Coyne later committed suicide. Four officers who clearly violate the rights of houseless members of our community are no longer on the force.  With continued pressure on police and continue citizen oversight of the police, maybe we can force the department to reign in their mavericks and become accountable to the people. A little pressure goes a long way.

GJPD Officer Resigns in Face of Pepper-Spray Attack

Posted in City of Grand Junction, Exessive Force, GJPD, Harrassment, Homelessness, police violence by GJPD Exposed on July 8, 2010

One GJPD officer resigns and another is placed on administrative leave for allegedly pepper-spraying homeless people property, including tents and sleeping bags, in a number of earlier incidents. This investigation stemmed from a case in which three GJPD officers were fired for vandalizing a homeless encampment. The three officers while appealing their case plead that such attack on homeless people’s camps are common practice within the department and in line with the training they received. Check out the Sentinel’s story, here.

Media Round-Up: Police Vandalize Homeless Camp

As the investigation into allegations that GJPD officers vandalized an area houseless camp goes into its second week, we eagerly await the outcome of both the Sheriff’s criminal investigation, and the Department’s own external investigation.

Here’s the local media round-up of the incident.

The Grand Junction FreePress had this excellent article

The Sentinel, true to form, did everything in their power to discredit the messenger, in this article, that eventually hit the AP wire and was picked up by major media outlets in Denver and beyond.

NBC Channel 11 had the best coverage Friday the 7th when the police announced that three officers were placed on administrative leave.

CBS Channel 5’s story from the Monday after the announcement was the most comprehensive.

ABC Channel 8’s coverage from mid-week was good as well.

The local blogger John Linko had this to say.

Three Officers on Administrative Leave For Slashing Homeless Camp

Three Grand Junction Police Officers were placed on administrative leave on Friday May 7th under allegations of damaging homeless peoples’ property. The officers are under criminal investigation by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and under internal investigation at the PD.
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On Monday May 3rd, GJ Police Officers were in the area of a well-established homeless camp near the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. Some residents were denied access to the area by the police during their visit. No known residents were in their camps at the time. Residents later returned to slashed tents, scattered belongings and slashed bike tires. On Wednesday, Jacob Richards, long time Red Pill editor and contributor and Housing First! No More Deaths! activist, filed a complaint about the incident. By Friday, three officers were placed on leave. The story was picked up by all local media outlets, the Denver Post, and even hit the AP wire.
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The fact that the GJPD are conducting an internal investigation and the Sheriff’s Department is investigating the matter criminally indicates that the powers-that-be may actually be taking this seriously.

Criminalization and harassment of the homeless is nothing new to Grand Junction. Police officers and the law itself target the homeless. The City attempted to virtually illegalize flying a sign in the city in the summer of 2009 as an emergency ordinance, but was shut down by the power of the people. In July of 2009, two undercover GJ police officers were ousted from the organization Housing First! No More Deaths!. Panhandling within a median began became illegal in the fall of 2009, and overnight Colorado West Park became a median without any formal process.

As odd as it may seem, the system might actually bring some form of justice for the houseless, and some accountability to the GJPD.

Harrassed and Manhandled: GJPD and the Homeless

Posted in Criminalization of Houselessness, Exessive Force, GJPD, Grand Junction, police violence by GJPD Exposed on April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3rd, 5pm. Whitman Park Grand Junction, Colorado

In an all to common of incident, three houseless people were contacted by the Grand Junction Police Department, for nothing more then being in a park frequented by houseless people.  Officer Winch approached Juile and Johnny A Martinez and engaged the two in small talk about an incident from the day before in the park. Officer Winch then asked to see a waterbottle that Juile had. She gave it to him. He smelled it and “got pissed saying ‘You lied to me.'” said Juile. Officer Winch then said that he wanted to see what was in Julie’s backpack, she refused, and according to Julie and Martinez Winch yanked the backpack from Juile and began searching. “That’s when he cuffed me,” Juile said. They had Juile in cuffs for over half an hour for a drinking in public ticket.

When Juile’s partner, Lumber Jack, came back to the park he headed to the public bathrooms where now two officers and a sergeant were talking to Juile and Martinez. “I told them I just needed to go to the bathroom,” he said. “Then I told them they have no right to search her backpack. That’s when they grabbed me and took me to the ground.” Lumber’s arm was turning more and more purple.

“He was so verbally aggressive,” said Juile. “I asked for a female officer to search me, but he searched me anyway,” she added.

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After a little over half-an-hour all three people were released all with blue tickets. Julie for drinking in the park, Lumber Jack for crossing a street while intoxicated, and Johnny Martinez for interfering with an officer for refusing to leave while his friends were being manhandled, cuffed, and ticketed.

“I told them I won’t show up to court anyway,” said Lumber.  Martinez described the pile of petty tickets he gets from the GJPD on almost daily, as “thick as an encyclopedia.”

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These petty tickets, which are common in the houseless community, result in either an arrest warrant being issued for failure to appear, or the person pleads guilty and is given a fine in the hundreds of dollars. The fine almost inevitably goes unpaid an goes to collections and an arrest warrant is issued. These tickets are often for things related to the basics of life, trespassing tickets for sleeping, indecent exposure for reliving themselves, drinking or smoking in the park because they have nowhere else to smoke and drink.  These tickets keep people houseless by ruining peoples credit and straddling them with huge debts, and cost the taxpayers millions in a busted criminal justice system.

Sergeant Kevin Imbriaco was on scene let him know that we harassing and manhandling the homeless is not cool (970) 683-3399.

Photos of Steven Lee “Lumber Jack” Ball’s bruises.

Who’s Lying

Posted in Exessive Force, GJPD, Grand Junction, Ingram, police violence by GJPD Exposed on March 28, 2010

Authorities have recently cleared the two officers involved in the police shooting, at the Timbers Motel, on February 28th, of any wrong-doing, finding that lethal force was justified. Yet questions remain unanswered, and according to those in power’s own statements, someone is lying.

At about 2pm on February 28th, GJPD Officers Isaac Gallegos and Allen Kwiatkowski responded to a domestic dispute call at the Timbers Motel. After talking to Nancy Ingram, officers went to the room to arrest her husband, Brent Ingram, on a couple of misdemeanor warrants. A few minutes later Brent Ingram lay dead with two bullets in his chest.

Serious questions started to be asked when, on March 2nd, a Daily Sentinel article interviewed Nancy Ingram. “…The officers then dragged her husband’s body to the doorway and removed his clothing. ‘Even the underwear, his privates and everything were showing,’ she said.”

The next day, March 3rd, about a dozen people protested outside of the police department, questioning the use of force and tampering with a crime scene by moving Ingram’s body. In response, GJPD Chief Camper told Channels 8 and 11 news that accusations about officers moving the body were false and based on rumor.

Another eyewitness, a guest who was staying at the Timbers motel at the time and who wishes to remain anonymous, heard police shouting at Ingram to “drop it” and then heard the gunshots. At this point, the witness went outside of his/her room and witnessed officers dragging Ingram’s body to the doorway of the motel room. The witness reported that he/she told investigators the same thing.

So who’s lying? Chief Camper or Nancy Ingram and other eyewitnesses?

A letter, dated March 23rd, from Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger to Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper, cleared officers of any wrong-doing and found that lethal force was justified. In the letter, Hautzinger says that Ingram was charging officers with a knife and therefore lethal force was justified. Hautzinger uses the location of Ingram’s body in the doorway of the motel room, as evidence that he was charging the officers. “Mr. Ingram fell face down in the entryway, winding up exactly where Officer Kwiatkowski had been standing.” Earlier in the letter, Hautzinger placed Officer Kwiatkowski “ near the door of the room while Officer Gallegos entered, went in between the beds and began to check under the beds.”

Mesa County Deputy Coroner and forensic pathologist, Dr. Robert Kurtzman, performed the autopsy on Ingram, and told the Daily Sentinel in an article from March 24th, that “A dying Brent Ingram was dragged by police or medical personnel to the doorway of a North Avenue motel room in an effort to provide easier access for emergency responders.” “Until they know he’s dead, they have to make every effort to preserve his life,” Kurtzman told the Sentinel. Kurtzman also told the Sentinel that “events surrounding the treatment of Ingram’s body were explained to him by law enforcement.” and went on to say that “The most important thing for me is: are the patterns of injuries consistent with the reported circumstances, and they are in this case.”

Kurtzman is getting us closer to the truth, but even his statements are a little inconsistent and certainly don’t match Hautzinger’s conclusions on where the body lay at the time of the shooting. The idea that officers dragged the body to “provide easier access” for first responders or in an “effort to preserve his life,” is hard to belive. First off, it’s far easier for first responders to get a person onto a gurney in the middle of a room rather then the middle of a doorway. Secondly, if someone is seriously injured as Ingram was, with a bullet in his spine, the last thing that anyone should do is move that person.

So who’s lying? Camper? Hautzinger? Nancy Ingram and other eyewitnesses? Kurtzman? We as a community need to know, but unfortunately we are unlikely to ever get real answers.

From the upcoming Red Pill vol 8 no 5 http://www.gjredpill.org

DA Clears Officers of Any Wrong Doing

Posted in Exessive Force, GJPD, Grand Junction, Ingram, police violence by GJPD Exposed on March 24, 2010

Here’s the DA’s Summary of the Timbers Motel Shooting. The letter clears officers of any wrong doing.

View this document on Scribd

Many Question GJ Police Shooting

Posted in Exessive Force, GJPD, Grand Junction, Ingram, police violence by GJPD Exposed on March 3, 2010

GJPD,Protest,Grand Junction,Brent Ingram

According to the mainstream media account’s, at about 2:20pm on February 28th, Grand Junction Police Department responded to a domestic dispute call at the Timber’s Motel. A few minutes later, Brent Ingram, lay dead from two police bullets in his chest. The authorities have said that Ingram was waving a knife at officers when he was shot.

The investigation is being handled by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Team (CIT). CIT is comprised of local police departments, Sheriff’s Department, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office. Kathy Porras, the Police Departments PR hack said the the Sheriff’s Department is the lead agency investigating the shooting. Porras said that the public is not likely to find out anymore information until the investigation is finished and the report is filled with the DA for determination if force was justified and/or if charges are to be pressed.

And that is about all the authorities are saying. But questions arise: couldn’t they have ‘Tased’ him instead? Why are the Police being so secretive? And why did the wife of the slain man say that she saw the officers drag the body and then remove all his close (tampering a crime scene)?

Was lethal force needed to deal with a pocket knife? Couldn’t talking him down for a minute, or even the use of less then lethal weapons have saved a life? Porras said that they had decided not to release department guidelines on the use of force until after the Investigation. When asked if department guidelines are usually public documents she said most parts were public and that I was free to file an Open Records Act Request. Which we promptly did.

Porras also would not comment on a Daily Sentinel article from March 2nd in which the slain man’s wife Nancy Ingram, told the Sentinel:

“the officers then dragged her husband’s body to the doorway and removed his clothing. ‘Even the underwear, his privates and everything were showing,‘ she said.”
This is serious. If the officers moved the body they are tampering with a crime scene. If they tampered with the crime scene by moving the body and stripping it, could they have tampered with it in some other way?

Porras also refused to comment if moving a body after a shooting is standard procedure or not. We filed for those documents as well. “These are details that should be investigated and should eventually be released,” Porras said.

This reporter couldn’t obtain a copy of the Incident Report and found that the “daily officer resume” had pages missing from 9am on the day of the shooting until the next morning. The clerk would not answer why. The rest of the incidents from that time period should at least be public documents. Unless, perhaps there was earlier contact with PD and Ingram that day? We filed for those documents as well.

Starting at 1pm on Wednesday protesters with many of the same questions picked the Police Department with signs like “Why did they move the body?” “Stop Police Brutality.” “Can you say Police State?” “Why not Taser him?” Many passing vehicles honked and waved in support. A local busking folk band, Dem Bones, played on the side-walk with the protesters.

“The people want answers. We have serious questions.” said Ken Wheeler.

From The Red Pill Vol. 8 No. 3 http://www.gjredpill.org

Rapist Cop Takes Cowards Way Out

Posted in Coyne, Crooked Cop, GJPD, Grand Junction, police violence by GJPD Exposed on October 8, 2009

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Authorities say a former Grand Junction police officer accused of sexual assault in Mesa County has been found dead in a hotel room in Jefferson County, more than 200 miles away.

Jefferson County sheriff’s officials said Wednesday that 35-year-old Glenn Coyne had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The hotel’s housekeeping staff found Coyne’s body Tuesday.

Coyne had recently posted bond in Mesa County after being arrested last week on charges of first-degree sexual assault and first-degree burglary. He was fired after two years as a Grand Junction officer.

Authorities say Coyne was accused of assaulting a woman who called him for follow-up help after Coyne and other officers went to her house on a family matter.

From our friends at itbreaks.wordpress.com