In recent months, Denver police have seemingly made headlines as much for police brutality allegations and other controversies as for solving crimes. Today, unfortunately, is no different. The Denver Post reports that two officers secretly, but legally, videotaped a supervisor and have been reassigned to new jobs by chief Gerry Whitman as a result of what top police brass consider to be “a major case of insubordination.”
The victim was Commander John Burback, the head of the internal affairs unit, which investigates such matters as public allegations of police brutality. Police Sergeant Bryan O’Neill reportedly filmed Burbach in the hopes of exposing what he believed was bias against his officers. Moreover, Lieutenant Daren Ciempa, O’Neill’s supervisor, reportedly approved the use of a clandestine video camera designed to look like a pen.
Both officers have declined to comment, and Burbach has not been reached, but the events are adding to the internal drama at the department. As the Post notes, some officers speaking privately to the newspaper have grown disenchanted after the resignation of safety manager Ron Perea in August following public uproar that he was not tough enough when it came to disciplining officers accused of using excessive force.