Early this morning, a Denver citizen was intimidated and unlawfully prevented from observing the round-up of Canada geese which occurred July 9, 2020 in Garfield Park. Her observations and the images she was able to take are below.
She writes, “They had two cops parked in a parking lot on Mississippi next to one another facing opposite ways. One of them aggressively whipped out of the parking lot right when they saw us and sped up then got right behind us. Clearly trying to intimidate us from going to the park…I had my phone out, ready to film the geese being taken and when I saw the two cops sitting in the parking lot right near the park…I barely got my phone up to film and the cop spotted us, then whipped out after us immediately.”
She continues, “They had 4 park rangers, police and what looked like more USDA workers than last year. Last year, there was only 1 park ranger at Garfield…They purposely parked behind the building and then had rangers all along the side where you can see. They used COVID as a reasoning to not have me come any further [note the lack of a mask on this city employee, in the final image below] and once they said I was there over the radio, more Park rangers walked up from the other side to block the radius.”
In describing the round-up itself she writes, “They had two canoes and people in the water. They were corralling them between the trucks and behind the building on purpose so people can’t get good footage or photos…the man in between the ranger and the other man has a geese in each hand. Just hard to see. They had the sidewalk blocked off and were rounding them up by the pool so you couldn’t see or get to them.”
Finally, after the round-up was complete, when she tried to follow them to see where they were taking the geese, she describes that “they had a cop and the park rangers driving behind them but very slowly to hold up traffic and us from getting behind the truck with the geese. When we tried to go around the block to catch up with them, there was a parked cop, who got in front of us. From what we could see, the truck with the geese sped off and took a left onto Federal.”
As a reminder, it is entirely legal to observe and document these round-ups. From the ACLU, “Taking photographs and video of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right — and that includes the outside of federal buildings, as well as transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties.”
Thank you to this citizen for bearing witness to the last moments of the life of these Canada geese. After the intimidation carried out by city and federal employees, she asked us to share this without disclosing her name.