Denver Spy Files Target Libertarian Party
by Ari Armstrong, September 6, 2002
[September 13 update: the a jpg scan of the file is now located at the bottom of this page.]
The Denver Police Department kept secret "spy files" on the Libertarian Party, Walter Schlomer reported in a recent e-mail. Schlomer, who serves on Colorado's state LP board as Fundraising Director, picked up a copy of the file September 5 at Denver police headquarters.
Denver police kept files on peaceful protesters and community activists from across the political spectrum, prompting outrage by the ACLU and many other organizations. Because of criticism and threats of legal action, the department is now releasing some of the files.
In its files, the Denver police labeled the Libertarian Party a "Militia type organization, pro gun rights." The Libertarian Party champions the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. The Libertarian Party does not conduct or participate in military-style training. It conducts and participates in peaceable demonstrations in support of individual rights.
I am aware of Libertarian Party members who have made supportive or sympathetic statements with respect to some "militia type" organizations. I am not aware of any official statement from the Libertarian Party at any level concerning militias. Many members of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, along with many members of the general public, are members of the "militia" as defined by the Colorado Constitution:
0-4-267 - ARTICLE XVII - Militia Art. XVII - Militia
Why the Denver Police Department targeted for investigation the Libertarian Party for peaceably advocating the Bill of Rights and obeying the Colorado Constitution remains a mystery. Critics of the department say the files infringe upon the rights of free speech and assembly.
On April 21, 2002, the Libertarian Party participated in a protest of the Denver "spy files." More information is available at http://www.freecolorado.com/colib/0205files.html.
The files about the LP mention the date of May 16, 2001. Some of the text of the file was blackened out prior to the file's release, so the significance of that date is unclear.
On May 13, 2001, several Libertarian Party members participated in a multi-organizational rally in support of the right to bear arms. At that rally, Denver police agents videotaped the peaceful demonstrators. Photos and information about that event are available at the following links.
No information is available at this time about individual Libertarian Party members who may have also been the target of a Denver police investigation and file.
Walter Schlomer's E-Mail Report
Dear LP members:
I visited Denver police HQ this afternoon and learned that they did indeed keep a secret spy file on the LP. Although it's brief, it does contain some disturbing information. I'll try to reproduce the document here as well as e-mail will allow.
Group File Report
Keep in mind that I just typed this in by hand, it's not precisely how it's laid out on the original document. Any errors would be my fault alone.
In each instance where I wrote (Text Blacked Out) there are words and lines blacked out by what looks to be a black marker. These represent names in the first two lines and I'm note sure what in the next lines.
Entries labeled as 'incident,' 'location,' and 'vehicle' associations seem to be data fields which are blank.
I think we will be able to have an exact duplicate of the document (like a scanned copy) online in the near future. Feel free to copy and send this on to all local Libertarian mail lists.
In Liberty, Walter Schlomer