Arrested at Denver’s Invesco Field for Asking Questions

Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre were arrested by the Denver Police Department on August 29th, 2010 based on false information provided to them by Invesco Field’s Alcohol Control employees. Their videocameras were also seized.

After being held in a cell beneath the Bronco’s stadium for 2 1/2hrs, Mueller was charged with interference, resistance and disturbing the peace and Eyre was charged with interference, disobedience to a lawful order and distributing the peace.

 

Here are three links to the raw footage shot that day:



Below is a bullet point account of the days actions.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 29th

  • MARV arrived at Invesco Field just before 1pm (the game started at 6pm). Pete and Adam paid $60 for two parking spots in Lot C. Beer was put on ice and packets of literature from LOT advertisers were assembled.
  • Three posters that read “FREE BEER HERE” were taped to the windshield/side of MARV. The beer was to be the hook to get tailgaters to stop by, contingent on them taking a packet of information.
  • The LOT/Denver-based outreach crew were informed that they their signs violated the policies set by Invesco Field. Being advocates of property rights, the signs were taken down.
  • The number of individuals doing outreach grew along with the number of tailgaters. People were really receptive.
  • Some time later (5pm?) Two female stadium employees, one wearing and “Alcohol Control” vests, approached Adam on foot. They told him he could not use the word “free” when informing passerby’s of the beer. Adam asked if he could say “Would you like a beverage?” and was told that he could. In their presence Adam continued doing outreach via a megaphone with the approved tweaked pitch.
  • Five minutes later the two female employees were joined by two male employees. They spoke amongst themselves a couple of parking spaces away.
  • Adam engaged the group, offered them literature and pointed-out that he hadn’t been using the word “free”. He was told by one of the male employees that it was too late – the cops had already been called. One of the female employees stated that she called police because Adam had been mocking her.
  • Fifteen minutes later three Denver PD cops arrived on the scene. They talked with the stadium employees for a few minutes then walked toward MARV. One of the cops saw that Pete was filming and informed his colleagues.
  • One officer – Sgt. J. Pinder – approached Pete and immediately said “Give me your license.” Pete asked “Am I legally required to provide that?”
  • Pinder said “You are when I ask for it.” Pete continued to question why he was expected to turn over his ID as he had not engaged in criminal activity nor was he suspect of a crime. Pinder told Pete “You didn’t ask me for my permission to film” to which Pete responded “You’re a government employee on the clock, you have no expectation of privacy.” J. Pinder told Pete he was legally required to provide his ID, which Pete then furnished.
  • Another officer – C. Pinder – asked Adam for his license. Adam also asked “am I legally required to do so?” The cop responded “Yes.” Adam said “Could you show me the law (statue) that states that?” C. Pinder, said “I don’t have to give me your ID.” Which Adam replied, “Well that’s not enough. Am I suspected of a crime?” The cop asked “Are you gonna give me your ID or not?” to which Adam responded “Do I have to?” The cop grabbed Adam’s wrist and told him he was under arrest. Adam fell to his knees.
  • Seeing Adam on his knees Pete asked if Adam was being detained. Pete took a step toward Adam to grab his camera from the ground, where C. Pinder had placed it. C. Pinder immediately took the camera and said “This is evidence.”
  • J. Pinder asked Pete if he was a season permit holder (J. Pinder hinted that if so, he may have been violating some terms he had agreed to). Pete said no, that they had just paid for parking for the day. He was asked to provide the parking receipt so he entered MARV, grabbed them off the dash, returned to the front of MARV and gave them to J. Pinder. Pete was then asked by J. Pinder and one of his colleagues for the vehicle registration.
  • Pete grabbed a folder from MARV, sat down outside, found the document and provided it to the cops.
  • Adam was physically carried by two Denver cops to a nearby curb, then was transported to their facility in the stadium in a golf cart.
  • J. Pinder told Pete to “secure” the vehicle – that he was going to accompany the police to their facility per the investigation. Pete entered MARV and started to lock the windows. J. Pinder banged on the door, which Pete had locked it upon entry. J. Pinder told Pete that he had “no right” to close and lock the door due to his status. Pete told J. Pinder he was going to walk to the back of MARV to lock those windows. J. Pinder started to enter MARV.
  • Pete told J. Pinder that he did not consent to him being in the vehicle. J. Pinder followed him in nevertheless and said he (Pete) had no right to tell him not to enter.
  • Upon exiting the vehicle J. Pinder told Pete to turn and face the RV. Pete was placed in handcuffs. Pete asked why he was being handcuffed. J. Pinder told him that he should have just complied to earlier requests for his ID. (Video of this exchange here, thanks Chuck)
  • Pete walked to the police substation in the stadium with J. Pinder. It was 5:45pm.
  • At one point when in the cell Pete was asked by J. Pinder for his telephone number. Pete asked if he was legally required to provide that information. J. Pinder told him that it would allow the court to get in touch with him were his charges dropped or any changes to dates made. Pete declined. As he was exiting J. Pinder said “Remember this when you’re being charged” (essentially he was saying that Pete was not doing anything wrong but that since he hadn’t provided more information it was going to negatively impact how he was dealt with).
  • J. Pinder went into Adam and Pete’s cells, placed in their pockets a single-page “General Session Summons and Complaint” that listed their charges and said “You’ve been served.”
  • Adam was charged with: 38-31 Interference, 38-32 Resistance and 38-89 Disturbing the Peace. Pete was charges with: 38-31 Interference, 38-31c Disobedience to lawful order and 38-89 Disturbing the Peace. Of these four different charges one – Disturbing the Peace – has an amount listed for a fine – $100 (plus a $10 “Bureau Cost” and $20 “Victim Assistance Surcharge”).
  • Adam and Pete were told their cameras (and shotgun mics and C-clamps) were now “evidence”. The pair was released around 8:15pm. They were escorted back to MARV by four cops. By the time they arrived at MARV two of the cops had fallen back a bit. Adam and Pete asked the cops for their badge numbers and business cards. Only J. Pinder provided his card. The other cop present walked away. J. Pinder said “He’s not involved” and ordered the pair to leave or else they’d be cited for trespassing.
  • That night Adam and Pete brainstormed on how to get back their camera equipment – vital for the success of LOT.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 31st

  • Based on information Adam had gathered the previous day from a number of phone calls, the pair learned they may be able to get their camera gear back by having the arresting officer or their supervisor sign a release for the property room.
  • Adam and Pete drove to Denver PD District 4 – where Adam was told C. Pinder worked to see if he’d sign the release. They were told C. Pinder’s shift didn’t start until 9pm and that no one else could help them.
  • Adam and Pete then drove to Denver PD HQ and explained the situation to the desk officer. They were initially told nothing could be done. Adam pressed the cop on the importance of the gear for LOT. A detective, also behind the desk stepped forward and directed Adam to another phone in the lobby to call the property room. Adam called, explained the situation. The detective instructed Adam to tell the property room folks that he’d call them from his office.
  • The detective told Adam and Pete that they would be given their property back in 30 minutes. It was 10am.
  • At 10:35am the detective told the pair that there was a holdup but they’d get their property soon.
  • At 10:50am the detective told the pair that one of the cameras was through (apparently the footage on the cameras was being copied).
  • At 11:20am Adam and Pete’s property was returned.
EPN

Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.