The Denver Board of Ethics voted Tuesday to dismiss an ethics complaint filed against Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca by an officer from the Denver Police Department.
The ethics complaint was filed for comments CdeBaca made in front of protesters in August that the officer claimed were intended to “dehumanize and humiliate” police.
Officer Mallory Lutkin submitted the Equal Employment Opportunity complaint to the board on Sept. 4, detailing an incident on Aug. 19 in which protesters confronted local authorities who were breaking up a homeless encampment.
In her complaint, Lutkin said CdeBaca arrived at the scene and demanded to speak with a supervisor, approaching Lutkin and another officer who were tasked with holding a line to secure the scene.
"CdeBaca pointed at Officer Sam (who is black) and stated, ‘You should be ashamed.’ CdeBaca then pointed at me (I am white) and said ‘You, I would expect this from you.’ CdeBaca went on to tell us to look up the laws pertaining to slavery,” Lutkin wrote.
“When CdeBaca made these statements toward me, I felt she was bringing my race into the issue she had with officers being called to this area. The statement directed at me insinuated I am racist because I am white."
The complaint also notes CdeBaca calling the police officers “guard dogs” and claiming that the officers didn’t know how to read.
The incident was captured on body-worn camera footage from DPD, which can be viewed on 9NEWS, a news partner of The Denver Gazette. (Note: The video contains graphic language.)
The complaint also claims that a protester stole a body-worn camera from an officer and gave it to CdeBaca. Because it took 51 hours for the camera to be returned to police, Lutkin alleged that CdeBaca made it “impossible” for the officer to do his job.
The Denver Board of Ethics cited a lack of jurisdiction as the reason for dismissing the complaint.
The board is required to screen all complaints within 31 days. The screening process is done in an executive session where it decided whether or not the board has jurisdiction to investigate the incident.
The board will issue a written decision in one week.