In this case, the ACLU asserts that the Denver Police Department (DPD) violated the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act when it refused to disclose any documents from the file of its investigation of the African American clients’ complaints of racial profiling arising from a traffic stop in February, 2009.   

The DPD concluded the complaint was “not substantiated,” but a Denver County Court Judge who heard testimony about the incident reached the opposite conclusion.  After a bench trial, the court dismissed the minor traffic charges and wrote that: “Police conduct was extreme, profane and racially motivated.”   The court further found that the ACLU’s clients were “unlawfully detained for an unreasonable time and without reasonable suspicion.”

When Wortham and Campbell asked for the DPD’s investigation file, they were told that disclosure would be “contrary to the public interest.”   The lawsuit asserts that disclosure promotes the public interest.

Just before the scheduled hearing date, Denver agreed to disclose the requested records and pay ACLU's attorney fees.

After obtaining and reviewing the investigation file, the ACLU wrote to the Internal Affairs Bureau to ask it to reopen its investigation.  

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ACLU case number



Steven D. Zansberg; Adam Platt; Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director; Taylor Pendergrass, ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney

Case number

No.10-CV-3032, Denver District Court