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Crime and Courts

Denver police officer pleads for U.S. Capitol riot suspect’s release

The name of the writer of the letter in support of Jeffrey Sabol has been redacted in federal court records

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

A person identifying himself as a Denver police officer is among a group of people hoping to persuade a judge to release a Colorado geophysicist accused of assaulting police during the U.S. Capitol riot.

The name of the writer of the letter in support of Jeffrey Sabol has been redacted in federal court records but the writer is described as a decorated 23-year veteran of Denver police and a sergeant who lives in same mountain community in Jefferson County outside the city.

“The portrayal of Jeff by the media is inconsistent with the good moral character of the Jeff I know. Of all people, I understand the seriousness of this incident, especially as it relates to my Brother’s in Blue; however, I hope the court will show some leniency on Jeff Sabol,” the letter said.

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Denver police told KUSA-TV, which first reported on the letter Thursday, that it would look into the matter.

“The Denver Police Department strongly condemns the actions of those who took part in the U.S. Capitol riot and is extremely disappointed that an unknown Denver Police officer submitted a letter in support of an arrestee – especially given the allegations against him,” it said.

In one instance, Sabol, 51, is accused of helping drag a police officer down steps to be beaten by an American flag outside the Capitol. The Utica, New York native has been in federal custody since he was arrested last month in New York after a prosecutor said he tried to flee to Switzerland and take his own life.

In a motion seeking to have Sabol released, his lawyer Jon W. Norris said the alleged conduct “appears to have arisen in the context of a hysterical throng” and the character letters, like one from the Denver officer, show that violent conduct is out of the character for him. He said it is not clear whether the person shown in video and photo evidence of at least one of the alleged assaults believed he was hurting or trying to help the officer.


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