3 GJPD officers accused of vandalizing homeless tents

This image was sent to 11 News by a viewer. The viewer alleges this tent was part of the property damaged by the GJPD officers.
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Three Grand Junction police officers have been accused of vandalizing a homeless camp and are now under investigation for misconduct.

A few dozen people survive in tents set up along the Colorado River by the 5th Street bridge. On Monday, some campers returned to their campsite and spotted several officers in the area. After the policemen cleared out, the homeless people say they found up to a dozen tents slashed, as well as several bike tires cut. The campers blame the police.

"Everything was is disarray, tarps torn down," says Ryan Loper, who used to work on the oils rigs. He's been living by the river off and on for a couple years.

A spokeswoman for the Grand Junction Police Department says that disrespectful behavior won't tolerated by the Department, if it was in fact the officers who vandalized the camp. "Our Chief has a very high standard for our officers. and he has made that very clear to all the employees in the police department," says Kate Porras.

The officers have been put on a paid administrative leave while the Department investigates. The Mesa County Sheriff's Department is also reviewing the incident. Officials there will decide if a criminal investigation is necessary.

Meantime, about seven people have relocated their tents. Those campers who stay say they are upset and disillusioned.



 
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