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December 04, 2008 09:48 PM UTC

Denver Man Claims DPD Anti-Gay Bias

  • by: redstateblues

Did the Denver Police Department cross the line from unfortunate purveyor of bad news to enabler of outright discrimination?

The Rocky Mountain News:

The man seated in front of Jerome Schroeder kept hurling slurs about his sexuality.

Schroeder, who is gay, said he ignored the insults. He had forked over nearly $200 for a ticket to see Madonna with his boyfriend and some other friends. He just wanted to dance and enjoy the show.

But about an hour into the concert last month at the Pepsi Center, police came and escorted Schroeder, his boyfriend and a female friend from their seats.

When Schroeder refused to leave the venue, he was arrested on charges of trespassing and jailed…

…Police arrest documents say only that Schroeder, a Denver radiologist, was taken into custody after he refused to leave and told officers to “arrest me.”

He said police told him, “the Pepsi Center wants you to leave.” Police wouldn’t say why, telling him only that he could leave or be arrested.

“We were clueless as to why we were being removed from our seats,” Schroeder said. “The only explanation is that it was based on our sexuality,” Schroeder said Monday. “There is no other explanation that makes sense.”

Schroeder has filed a complaint with Denver police, alleging an “anti-gay attitude.” He also says officers weren’t properly trained to handle situations fueled by sexual bias.

Putting aside the ridiculousness of a straight man being offended by a gay couple at a Madonna concert, if what Schroeder claims happened is the truth, then the DPD needs to drastically change their standard operating procedure for these types of incidents.

Another issue is the ultimate source of the decision to remove Schroeder, his boyfriend, and their female friend: the Pepsi Center. What is their policy regarding same sex couples at events? Is there a more specific reason why this couple was chosen for removal, other than the fact that other guests were not enjoying their presence there?

No one was immediately available for comment from the Pepsi Center or its owner, Kroenke Sports Enterprises.


6 thoughts on “Denver Man Claims DPD Anti-Gay Bias

  1. This sounds very unlikely as reported. Of all of the gay people (perhaps a majority of the crowd?) at a Madonna concert, why these 3?

    There had to be a report of some inappropriate behavior to cause the PepsiCenter to have them removed. And notice I said report of bad behaviour, not that it happened.

  2. First, if the guy seated in front of Schroeder doesn’t want to run into gay men at a concert then he might want to stick to Toby Keith as opposed to Madonna.  (And if he happens to be reading this, he should do himself a favor and avoid the Celine Dion concert that is coming to the Pepsi Center).

    Second, if the Pepsi Center/Kroenke was really wanting “to get the gays out”, then they probably should not have scheduled the Madonna concert in the first place–and if that was their goal, the straight guy hurling anti-gay slurs likely could have had the place to himself.

    Bottom line…there is more to this story than appears on the surface.

  3. About this at the Proposition 8 protest a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t get a chance to speak with him myself, but it seems as though he’s been trying to get some press for this for about the last month, and has finally succeeding in doing so.

    But really…who goes to a Madonna concert and doesn’t think they’ll be surrounded by gay men? That’s practically one of the Seven Wonders of the World for my people. I think that guy needs to take a long look in the mirror…

  4. are not something that the police are necessarily efficient at enforcing.

    Here is how I commonly see the hierarchy in play:

    -Cop wears badge

    -people see badge

    -people understand that the badge is authority

    -vague understanding of authority is that it equates to bully

    -people don’t mess with bully because unpredictable bully can sometimes follow no law, no order.

    As long as its understood who is boss. Things generally can take care of themselves.

    But, sometimes the system breaks down and people actually have the audacious nerve to demand answers to some of the most basic questions like, “why are you removing me? I paid to be here. I wasn’t doing anything. This doesn’t make sense. Can you tell me why you are doing this?” and then the citizen gets charged with some bullshit.

    Money and time are wasted. Resentment is felt towards the hierarchy. Repeat cycle.

  5. …was full of what some call Bullshit.  He was being a jerk and loud and pushy and bothering everyone.  So he, alone among the billions of other gays there, was asked to leave.

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