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Trespass Arrest (Part 1): Body Worn Camera

We are aware of a video circulating around social media showing our officers detaining an individual for trespassing at a local Safeway. That footage being shared only shows a small fragment of what occurred. On July 14, 2020, CSPD officers responded to a trespass call for service after an individual who was petitioning for signatures refused to leave the private property when asked by business management. When officers arrived on scene, they spoke with the individual over an extended period of time, attempting to explain that the Safeway is not public property. When the individual still refused to leave, officers served and released him on a summons on a misdemeanor trespass charge. Another individual on scene stated they had paperwork of a lawyer’s opinion on whether or not the business was public or private property. We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty regarding first amendment rights. However, our officers followed department policies, which are based on criminal law and legal guidance from the City Attorney's Office. We have received complaints from community members regarding this incident, and an Internal Affairs investigation has been initiated. Out of transparency, and to provide accurate information to our community, we have provided body worn camera:
• Link to BWC (Part1): https://vimeo.com/438720860
• Link to BWC (Part 2): https://vimeo.com/438722181

Additionally, below is guidance from the City Attorney’s Office regarding petitioning: "The Colorado Springs Police Department (“CSPD”) have analyzed and assessed the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision in Westminster v. Bock, 819 P.2d 55, many times since the decision was announced in 1991. The general procedure followed by CSPD is that individuals may not engage in petition gathering activities on private property in the face of an objection from the property owner; however when sufficient government relationships exist which connect public monies to private interests then CSPD may not enforce owners’ trespass notices against petition gathers. CSPD has interpreted sufficient government relationships in terms of private property to include properties that receive tax incentive financing monies or other types of government subsidies. This governmental relationship distinction applies to several large retail properties in Colorado Springs to include:
• First and Main Shopping Center
• University Village Shopping Center
• World Arena
• Shops at Briargate

CSPD also does not enforce trespass notification as to petition gathering activates at Chapel Hills Mall and the Citadel Mall. Finally petition gathers are welcome to collect signatures at State, City or County owned properties such as the 4th Judicial District Courthouse outside forum, State DMV locations, the Pioneer Museum gazebo and public forum area, public libraries, and City Hall just to name a few examples.

Please note that per the Bock decision private properties that do have a sufficient governmental interest to allow petition gathering may “impose reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on the conduct of” petition gathers. Petition gathers should contact the retail management of these properties to inquire if property owners have instituted time, place and manner policies pertaining to petition gathering on their properties."

Trespass Arrest (Part 1): Body Worn Camera

This is "Trespass Arrest (Part 1): Body Worn Camera" by COS Police Department on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

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