Enviro Groups May Have Staged SUV Hitting Protester

The Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) submitted a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) Tuesday asking the agency to investigate a November 12, 2015, incident which occurred outside BLM’s Colorado headquarters in Lakewood. CBD and RAN, part of a larger “Keep it in the Ground” movement, allege that a BLM contractor hit a protestor with his SUV during a rally to protest oil and gas lease sales. Protesters were apparently blocking one of the exits of the headquarters’ parking lot.

After conducting an investigation into the matter, the Lakewood Police Department concluded the incident was likely staged. Steve Davis, a Lockwood Police Department spokesman, reported it appears a protester ran in front of the SUV and laid down. CBD and RAN, which disagree with this characterization, asked BLM to ensure that its employees and contractors respect the public’s civil rights and safety, and requested the agency conduct its own investigation of the incident. RAN plans to meet with BLM officials in Colorado to discuss this request for an investigation.

Steve Davis, a Lakewood Police Department spokesman, said the department’s review does not line up with the environmental groups’ account of the incident. Davis said the department has fully investigated the matter and there “really never was a case” to pursue.

“No, there is no open investigation,” Davis said. “There really never was a case, although we did on scene check out what had taken place.”

In response to questions from a reporter, Davis said he contacted a police commander who had been at the BLM headquarters the day of the auction and at the scene at the time of the incident.

“It appeared to our people that this incident appeared to have been staged,” Davis said.

Video HERE.