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Denver officer suspended for wrongful use of pepper spray on George Floyd protestors

A Denver police officer was recently given a six-day suspension for his inappropriate use of pepper spray on people who were protesting the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.

According to the disciplinary order from the Department of Safety, the officer used the spray on a woman who was not threatening him as well as on a crowd without giving any warning. 

Officer Jesse Trudel is the officer now under penalty. He reportedly sprayed a woman in the early morning hours of May 29 and again used it to disperse a crowd. At the time of the incident, he had been stationed at East 12th Avenue and North Broadway.

Trudel said in statements during an internal investigation that he was fearing for his safety at the time and had not been involved in a “large-scale riot” prior to the George Floyd protests. 

Trudel went on to say that he believed the protests themselves were unlawful as some people were looting businesses and damaging other private property.

He added that he did not believe the few hours he had received of academy training for crowd-control situations adequately prepared him for those protests. Trudel claimed people were also throwing objects like rocks and water bottles at him when he used the spray the first time.

But according to the internal investigation, Trudel said he would “fog that [expletive]” even though the woman he sprayed showed no aggression towards him.

“Officer Trudel’s comment prior to deploying the OC spray…demonstrated that Officer Trudel targeted this individual with OC spray out of frustration, rather than out of a justifiable need to deploy a chemical agent,” the disciplinary order says, which was dated January 10.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE DENVER CHANNEL

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