Cops' DNC Shirts Raise Ire

From RockyMountainNews.com

A tongue-in-cheek T-shirt poking fun at Democratic National Convention protesters is selling fast and creating some minor controversy along the way.

The shirts were created and distributed by the Denver Police Protective Association, the union that represents most of Denver's 1,400 police officers.

The front of the black shirt shows the number 68 with a slash through it. One of the primary protest groups at last month's DNC in Denver was the Re-create 68 Alliance, harking back to the violent 1968 political convention in Chicago.

The back of the shirt features a menacing police figure, wearing what looks like a Denver police badge and helmet and clutching a baton. He's looming over the city of Denver along with the slogan, "WE GET UP EARLY, to BEAT the crowds." Also written on the back is "2008 DNC."

There were 154 protesters arrested during the August convention; many were taken into custody following a Monday night melee with police along 15th Street.

Re-create 68 organizer Glenn Spagnuolo calls the shirt appalling and tasteless.

Spagnuolo said Thursday that members of the police union "clearly have no respect for the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution."

The Denver police detective who produced the shirts, Nick Rogers, says he has received no complaints until now. He said the shirts are being sold for $10 each at the Police Protective Association offices.

He said every Denver police officer was given one.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.