Safety guard suspect in deadly Denver protest taking pictures acted in self-defense, lawyer says


Denver Police DepartmentMatthew Robert Dolloff
The 30-year-old safety guard suspected of taking pictures and killing a protester in Denver on Saturday was appearing in self-defense when he opened hearth, an lawyer for the suspect’s household mentioned.
Throughout a confrontation, a demonstrator who had attended a “Patriot Rally” in Civic Middle — recognized by household as Lee Keltner, 49 — struck Matthew Robert Dolloff whereas holding a can of what seems to be pepper spray, photographs of the incident present. Keltner used the spray and Dolloff opened hearth, although it’s not clear within the photographs which occurred first.
Dolloff noticed Keltner reaching into his shirt and feared for his security, household lawyer Doug Richards mentioned.
Police and 9News mentioned Dolloff was working as a contracted safety guard for workers of the tv station on the time of the taking pictures, although metropolis officers say they haven’t any file he was licensed to do such work in Denver.
“I feel it’s vital to acknowledge that that is anyone who’s on the protest working to guard First Modification rights,” Richards mentioned in an interview Monday. “He was not there on behalf of any group or to advance any political agenda. You possibly can see within the photos that he put his physique in between the protester and the reporter. Matt was doing all the pieces he was purported to do and all the pieces he was skilled to do.”
Dolloff had labored for greater than a yr as a non-public safety guard at various occasions in Colorado, Richards mentioned. The night time earlier than the taking pictures, Dolloff labored as an armed safety guard at a debate between Colorado’s senate candidates, Richards mentioned. That debate was held at Denver 7’s tv studio and co-hosted by The Denver Put up and Colorado Public Radio. It was not instantly clear who employed Dolloff to work the controversy.
Dolloff picked up the safety jobs as a contractor via Pinkerton, Richards mentioned. The lawyer on Monday mentioned he didn’t know precisely what safety coaching Dolloff had or what entity supplied the coaching. He additionally mentioned he didn’t know whether or not Dolloff had a license to work as a safety guard in Denver. Such licenses are required to work in personal safety within the metropolis.
“Even when he didn’t carry the particular Denver safety license, it didn’t cease Pinkerton from sending Matt into that job and it doesn’t change the truth that Matt was appearing in self-defense,” Richards mentioned.
Pinkerton officers supplied an announcement Tuesday providing condolences to individuals impacted by the taking pictures.
“Because it pertains to the incident in Denver on Oct. 10, the agent in query will not be a Pinkerton worker however slightly a contractor agent from a long-standing business vendor,” the assertion reads. “Safety professionals usually function guides to guard media crews throughout probably harmful conditions or hostile environments. We’re absolutely cooperating with legislation enforcement authorities of their investigation.”
A public relations advisor working for Pinkerton didn’t reply to a query from The Put up asking for the title of the seller. A consultant from 9News on Monday additionally didn’t reply to a request by The Put up for an interview in regards to the taking pictures.
The Denver Metropolis Lawyer’s Workplace and the town division that handles licensing are investigating Dolloff’s licensing and deciding what punishment, if any, must be levied towards concerned events.
“Licensed safety guard employers that rent unlicensed safety guards may face disciplinary actions towards their licenses starting from a effective to suspension to revocation,” the town lawyer’s workplace mentioned Monday in an announcement. “Companies may additionally face felony costs for allowing or directing an unlicensed particular person to carry out safety companies. Concerning Matthew Dolloff, there may very well be civil or felony actions taken, or each, towards Mr. Dolloff, Pinkerton, 9News, and/or another entity that employed and deployed Dolloff in an unlicensed safety guard capability.”
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The Elbert County Sheriff’s Workplace issued a concealed-carry license to Dolloff in June 2018 that was legitimate for 5 years, Sheriff Tim Norton mentioned. The sheriff’s workplace suspended the license after the taking pictures pending the outcomes of the felony investigation, he mentioned.
Dolloff labored the safety jobs to assist pay for his schooling at College of Colorado Denver, the place he had practically accomplished an undergraduate diploma in political science, Richards mentioned.
Dolloff’s household has obtained hate mail and loss of life threats due to the taking pictures, the lawyer mentioned.
“They’re primarily in hiding proper now as a result of individuals assume that this was a political occasion,” Richards mentioned.
Dolloff remained in Denver’s Downtown Detention Middle on Monday with out bond. As of Monday afternoon, he had not been formally charged by prosecutors. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree homicide.


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