It has not been a great week for Denver's newest police chief, Robert White.
A letter signed by the "Men and Women of the Denver Police Department" and sent to Mayor Michael Hancock's office posed the same question the ACLU has been asking: "Where is the change?"
According to the letter sent out Wednesday, an anonymous group within the city's police force wants transparency, fairness and accountability in the police department. On those issues the letter claims that Chief White has been a disappointment already.
White was only just sworn in December 12 from his old police chief post in Louisville, Ky., but began by promising transparency and an effort to restore the public's trust.
"We are going to have some changes, I'm going to be misleading you if we weren't. I don't think the mayor hired me to have things as the status quo and I'm not a status quo guy," Chief White said during his swearing-in ceremony.
Yet the letter, which the Mayor's office claimed not to have a copy of, wrote that Chief White was "business as usual." Mike Strott with Mayor Hancock's communications office told the Huffington Post that the letter only went out to media outlets.
An excerpt from the letter:
Mr. Mayor, we feel that we were ready for Chief White to come in here and be effective. Although he talks a big game his actions are telling us that this (is) Whitman part two. Anybody can re-arrange some titles and move the same people around to different positions. Change is in the heart and mind of every Denver Police Officer who was looking at a new brand of leadership not business as usual.
Yet a change in officer discipline procedures will require the city charter to be changed by Denver voters either via a ballot measure or having Denver City Council members draft a solution for voter approval.
The day after the letter went public, the Courier-Journal reported that White's son, Robert C. White III, 30, pleaded guilty in Louisville, Ky. to a misdemeanor domestic assault on his wife and a felony charge of wanton endangerment stemming from an October incident. White III could avoid the two-year incarceration if he completes a five-year-long diversion program.
At the time that incident occurred White was still the Louisville Chief of Police and his son was housed separately at Louisville Metro Corrections because of his relationship to the chief of police.
Back in Denver however the authors of the anonymous letter say they are afraid that White's first appointments will be largely made up of the same people in high-ranking positions under former his predecessor, Gerry Whitman.
However, Denver Police spokesman Lt. Matt Murray warned the Denver Post not to read the letter verbatim. "This is clearly a reaction to him bringing in the change that is needed. It's all speculation and opinion."