On Wednesday night, after a peaceful protest for Breonna Taylor had dispersed, Denver police stopped and detained a man running through Capitol Hill with a gun. The moment was captured on video by CBS4 and shared widely on social media.
On Thursday, Denver police released the names of that man and one other. Joseph Miller and Coy Jones were both ticketed for carrying large-capacity gun magazines that are banned in the city. But Denver Police Division Chief Ron Thomas said the pistols they were carrying were licensed and legal. The Denver Police Department confiscated the guns but officers did not take the men into custody.
Miller told Denverite he is not a protester. Instead, he said he was supervising a security team that was “working with a reporter.” He said protesters began chasing his team and his client through Capitol Hill when one of the guards drew his pistol. The team was detained by police soon after.
Miller would not say who his team was protecting.
But Joseph A. Camp, a self-described documentarian, talent manager, “political satirical artist” and presidential candidate, told Denverite he hired both of the men cited. Camp is not affiliated with any news outlet, though he can sometimes be found streaming protests in the metro area. Camp said his footage from these events is often purchased by right-leaning “influencers,” and that he’s slated to speak with the right-wing blog The Blaze about the incident.
Racial justice protesters have accused Camp of posting personal information about them online and harassing them.
Camp confirmed protesters chased him Wednesday night, and he said his security team was acting to protect him.
“I am extremely disappointed in the arrest of my security,” he said, “due to the fact that I was running away from an attack.”
Camp was also chased away from a march on the 16th Street Mall last Saturday. A few protesters noticed him filming on the sidelines, then began walking toward him as they yelled that he wasn’t welcome. One protester slammed Camp against a wall before Camp took off running away from the march.
After threats from protesters, he said, he “felt it was necessary” to hire security.
Tay Anderson, the Denver Public School Board member and regular leader of rallies for racial justice in Denver, said Camp has been dogging him for months.
He shared screenshots of text messages he said came from Camp, which are filled with threatening language.
“Loser. You’re nothing but a b**** a** thug. Do something about it,” one says.
“You should apologize and end all this before someone gets hurts,” says another.
“You will be responsible if my security has to defend me with deadly force.”
Denverite called the number where these texts originated. Camp answered the phone, but he said he hadn’t sent any texts to Anderson.
Instead, Camp said the number was “cloned” so a group of his associates could use it. He said he’d be surprised if anyone with access to the number would text anything “unprofessional.” But he acknowledged that all calls to the number are directed to his personal phone.
Anderson has reported Camp to DPD. Police gave him “guidance on the next steps he could take,” a DPD spokesperson said via email. He spotted Camp at the protest on Wednesday, he said, and asked protesters nearby to surround the Black women who were speaking to keep him away.
“If you see him, push him out,” Anderson recalled telling the crowd. “We do not want him in here because of the way he’s been harassing folks.”
That Camp has hired armed security, Anderson said, only makes him more concerned for his safety and the safety of other peaceful protesters.
“It’s scary to know that this individual who has been harassing me for months has armed security guards,” he said. “I am very concerned about the actions that are supposed to take place this weekend.”
Camp said he “absolutely” planned to attend protests over the weekend.
“I will be out, and I will have a much larger security team,” he said, adding that threats against him were an attempt to stifle his right to document what happens in Denver.