You are here
Home > Local News > Denver’s Argonaut Wine and Liquor reserves the right to roll their derelict customers without you videotaping it

Denver’s Argonaut Wine and Liquor reserves the right to roll their derelict customers without you videotaping it


DENVER, COLORADO- Occupy Denver activist Caryn Sodaro was arrested in April for filming Denver police officers physically tormenting a drunken itinerant behind the Argonant liquor store on 760 East Colfax. Appearing in municipal court yesterday Caryn learned her accusers aren’t the DPD but Argonaut itself, whose employees charge Caryn with trespass for not removing herself from their parking lot with sufficient deference. Caryn was among a group of onlookers who were hoping to curb the police abuse by recording it. Of course documenting police brutality is not illegal, so the City of Denver is relying on private interests to complain to take the heat from law enforcement’s decision to make an arrest. You might well ask, what interest does the Argonaut have to keep customers or passersby from witnessing police officers kicking homeless men behind its store?

Video still from camera footageCaryn was retreating as ordered. In fact she was four spectators removed from the crime scene when DPD reinforcements lunged toward her to nab her.

Now the DPD want to hang Caryn’s arrest on a technicality, that she was trespassing, ignoring whether witnessing the potential commission of a crime wouldn’t be sufficient excuse to bend the Argonaut’s property rights. No one otherwise pretends that crimes like domestic violence are protected by claims to the privacy afforded by private property. Why does the DPD think its officers can indulge sadistic tendencies behind a veil of private security guards?

On Tuesday Argonant dispatched staffers Chris Crowley and William Dehl to bear witness against Caryn Sodaro. I wouldn’t bother to highlight the pair’s personal identities here were it not for a colorful twist in the courtroom which in retrospect is unsurprising from blond thick-necked goons who may delight in watching inebriates get the jack-boot. Waiting their turn to receive instruction from the judge, Crowley and Dehl amused themselves through the long morning docket by making disparaging and racist remarks to each other about the mainly Hispanic and black defendants in the clutches of Denver’s judicial quagmire, many of whom were in-custody and could not post bond.

The Argonaut has been a Capitol Hill favorite for a half-century, and no doubt it has finessed the art of dealing with the regular drunks. No doubt letting local officers vent their anger against bums in back alley is a tradition in the liquor biz. Fortunately cell phone cameras mean those days are waning. The Colorado legislature recently reinforced the public’s right to film the police. It can hardly be in the Argonaut’s best interest to shield police brutality from citizens who want to intervene. The Argonaut doesn’t want to highlight the consequence of alcoholism. Hopefully despite Argonaut’s efforts, getting rolled by the cops will prove to be less inevitable.

2 thoughts on “Denver’s Argonaut Wine and Liquor reserves the right to roll their derelict customers without you videotaping it

  1. Argonant liquor store on 760 East Colfax
    These people need to be on the list for an action!

  2. Caryn was backing up to leave when she was arrested. Fortunately, her video camera was still running, so the prosecutor can see the truth on it when they decide to look at it. Her case was continued so they would have more time to do so despite having it on hand for weeks. They just love to bust Caryn.

Leave a Reply

Top