DENVER (AP) — Two police officers in Denver have been suspended without pay after city officials said they used excessive force during racial justice protests last year sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Officers Derek Streeter and Diego Archuleta were the first in the department to be disciplined for excessive force during the protests, The Denver Post reported Tuesday.
Another officer was fired in June 2020 for posting a social media photo of himself wearing riot gear captioned “Let’s start a riot.”
A disciplinary order said officer Streeter was suspended for 10 days for firing pepper balls three times at people who didn’t pose a threat, and officer Archuleta was suspended for six days for using pepper spray on a woman in a car.
Archuleta told investigators he immediately knew it was a mistake but didn’t think the woman was affected because she rolled up her window and started using her phone.
Police union president Nick Rogers said he has worked with Streeter and Archuleta and that both are “extremely professional and capable.” He said young officers with no experience with large protests were deployed to handle “violent riots” for five days, sometimes working more than 20 hours a day.