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CSP puts trooper on paid leave after interaction with far-right protesters

A Colorado State Trooper is on paid leave while the agency investigates his interaction with a far-right group that held a rally at the State Capitol on Saturday.
Credit: Mark Wilson
The sky lights up as the sun rises behind the U.S. Capitol on March 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

DENVER — A state trooper is on paid leave while Colorado State Patrol investigates his interaction with a far-right group that held a rally at the State Capitol on Saturday.

That rally against internet censorship was promoted by the Proud Boys, a far-right, all male group.

These types of rallies often bring out the anti-fascist group antifa. Those counter-protesters were there on Saturday, yelling at speakers, calling them Nazis.

"They think we're Nazis," speaker Tom Pappert, of the God Emperor Trump Facebook page, said of antifa protesters outside the rally. Pappert called antifa "the new paramilitary wing of the Democratic Party."

The CSP trooper in question gathered the Proud Boys and other far-right protesters to explain how CSP planned to keep them safe. He said the protesters would have to stay away from the area while CSP cleared out the counter-protesters.

In a video, the trooper then appears to speak to the men in red hats displaying, "Make America Great Again," saying: "I know some of you came here to fight. I can tell by what you're wearing. That's not happening today. If you want to fight, stick around, I've got a couple guys, they also want to fight."

The group of men cheered. One man can be heard on a Facebook live stream saying “Let’s stay tight Proud Boys!"

While the group of far-right protesters seemed to enjoy what the trooper was saying, it’s not clear what the trooper himself meant.

Later in the video, the CSP trooper can also be heard saying, "Of course I'm joking."

CSP shared the following with 9NEWS on Sunday:

“CSP is aware of the video. We’re aware of the incident, which occurred on the west steps of the Capitol yesterday, Sept. 15. We are concerned about the content of the video and the incident itself. Accordingly, we have started an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the video and the statements made by our member.”

Speakers said they were protesting internet censorship of conservative views. One speaker said InfoWars’ Alex Jones was under attack for “delivering truth.”

Mark Barrington, the Republican candidate challenging Rep. Ed Perlmutter( D-7th district), also spoke at the rally.

Denver Police would not confirm if there were any arrests on Saturday. The organizer of the event did have a permit.

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