With Democrats coming, Denver bans carrying urine, feces
Rocky Mountain News
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado ” Poo and pee dominated a public hearing Monday on a new law that prohibits people from carrying certain items if they intend to use them for nefarious purposes.
The law, crafted in advance of the Democratic National Convention, was adopted unanimously by the City Council.
But not before a hearing laced with comedy and profanity.
Representatives from some of the groups planning large-scale protests during the DNC this month said the ordinance was unnecessary and accused city officials of fear mongering.
“The intent of this ordinance is to try to smear protesters and make them look as if they are somehow criminal or somehow going to engage in some kind of gross conduct,” said Glenn Spagnuolo, an organizer with the Re- create 68 Alliance.
The ordinance makes it illegal to carry certain items, such as chains, padlocks, carabiners and other locking devices. It also prohibits the possession of noxious substances. Two of the most frequently used examples of a noxious substance are a bucket of urine and a “feces bomb.”
Police have to prove that people carrying such items intend to use them to block public access or emergency equipment or to thwart crowd control measures.
Safety Manager Al LaCabe said the law will be applied in situations when certain items are going to be used in a disruptive way. He said officers will consider the totality of the circumstances.
“Our intent for this bill is not about suppressing or chilling First Amendment rights,” he said.
The hearing got personal when Spagnuolo took aim at Councilman Doug Linkhart, who was quoted in the New York Post as saying that a source told him that he knew of a home being used to store urine. “The only feces that I’m concerned about is the (expletive) that comes out of his mouth,” Spagnuolo said.
Council members balked at the attack on Linkhart, noting that he was the one who requested the hearing.
Linkhart said a firefighter he trusts was his source. After the hearing, he said he didn’t regret requesting it.
“I’d do it again,” he said, adding that some of the points that protesters raised were valid.