Denver police apologize for arrest of lawmaker
Under Colorado law, a legislator en route to or from lawmaking duties is protected from arrest
By PoliceOne Staff
DENVER — Denver police apologized Tuesday for making it seem like a state lawmaker invoked legislative privilege to get out of a potential DUI arrest.
Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, was pulled over last week by an officer who called a supervisor to the scene after noticing the legislative plates on the vehicle, according to The Denver Post. A sobriety test was administered and Bradford was found to be intoxicated, but it had been unclear whether she had invoked legislative immunity as she faced arrest.
Under Colorado law, a legislator en route to or from lawmaking duties is protected from arrest, and during the stop she said she coming from a legislative event — witnesses saw her at a local bar — and had to be in session the next morning, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. Police Lt. Matt Murray said in Tuesday's press conference that contrary to the department's earlier statements, Bradford did not bring up the topic first.
"On behalf of Chief White, and the men and women of the Denver Police Department, we would like to extend our apologies to Rep. Bradford," Murray said. "She asked to be treated like everyone else, and we did not follow that."
Murray said Bradford insisted police treat her "like everyone else" before she receving a citation for an improper lane change and illegal turn and taking a cab home.
"I had a hard time getting people to believe that I did not invoke legislative immunity when I got stopped by police," Bradford told The Denver Post. "I am grateful to the police officer who came forward and said that not once but several times I insisted on being treated like other citizens."
It was revealed Tuesday Bradford had a firearm in her car at the time, which according to reports, she was licensed to carry — but not while intoxicated, under Colorado law. According to 9 News, Bradford asked the officers not to say anything about the gun, which the supervisor cleared and placed back in the vehicle.
Denver police said they followed constitutional guidelines during the stop, and the Colorado House of Representatives is conducting an ethics investigation.