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Denver Post sends cease and desist letter after ICE uses one of its photos
The Aurora, Co. Police Department removed a photograph of an ICE protester that was used in a press release on Tuesday after the Denver Post sent the department a cease and desist letter about using the image taken by one of its photographers.
Aurora police used the image in a release looking for information on a man who attended the protest, where there were acts of vandalism and the theft of a U.S. flag.
The Post said the use of the photo was both a copyright infringement and a blurring of the lines between the press and law enforcement.
"The Aurora Police Department's use of our photograph is a clear violation of copyright law and The Denver Post's terms of fair use," Denver Post Editor Lee Ann Colacioppo wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday. "We defend both vigorously."
The photo's publication on APD channels also blurred the lines between the newspaper and law enforcement, thrusting the integrity of the Post's editorial independence into question, Colacioppo added.
"Aurora's use of the photo suggested that we acted in partnership with law enforcement," she wrote.
The Denver Post is Colorado's largest newspaper.
The image in question was of a masked man holding a U.S. flag during a protest at an ICE facility in Aurora on July 12. Nearly 2,000 people attended the protest.
Aurora police had issued a release asking for help in identifying the vandalism suspects. The Post argued Aurora Police never asked the newspaper's permission to distribute its photograph.
The paper also said it has published the photograph in question "no fewer than seven times on our website and social media" while denouncing the acts of the protesters.
"We have certainly not tried to hide the photo from the public," Colacioppo added.
No arrests have been made yet, according to local law enforcement.