Denver police officers who assembled “spy files” on peaceful demonstrators and members of political groups used derogatory and sexual and racial terms in e-mails they exchanged, reports the Denver Post. A judge unsealed documents that described e-mails among officers that contained nude photos and sexually explicit messages. The Denver Post had sought to open the files.
“The e-mails betray a vicious contempt for certain political positions,” says a brief filed by the plaintiffs in a case against the officers. They display “a bias that may play a role in the intelligence officers’ views about which groups and which activities merit the surveillance and monitoring.” One of the unsealed documents says the e-mails include “most despicable and profane” photographs. The e-mails themselves have not been released. “The X-rated e-mails contain photographs that attempt to dehumanize women, while the R-rated e-mails contain racial and political messages that demonstrate clear prejudice and bias against certain ethnic and national origin groups,” says a newly released document.
The city had objected to the release of the e-mails, saying that they are irrelevant to the case. Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said police investigators discovered the e-mails between officers through its own investigation and determined that they violated department rules. “There was wrongdoing,” Jackson said.