The FBI's secret infiltration and subversion of the racial justice movement in Colorado was challenged Tuesday in a lawsuit alleging that federal and local law enforcement officials abused their powers when they targeted left-wing activists in the summer of 2020, the Intercept reports. The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, accuses the FBI, the Colorado Springs Police Department, and local police officers of overstepping their authority in infiltrating, surveilling, and requesting search warrants aimed at Colorado Springs activists. The FBI’s targeting of racial justice activists was disclosed in February by The Intercept and the podcast series “Alphabet Boys.” In a separate federal case in Denver, the Justice Department last week did not deny that the government’s initial investigation of racial justice activists was prompted by speech.
That filing — the government’s first public response to revelations that the FBI infiltrated the racial justice movement in Denver using a violent felon as a paid informant — claimed that the “violent nature” of the activists’ statements “made them a legitimate subject of investigation.” The two cases stem from the same source. During the summer of 2020, the FBI secretly hired an informant, Michael “Mickey” Windecker, to infiltrate the racial justice movement in Denver. While being paid by the FBI, Windecker accused movement leaders of being informants themselves; encouraged violence at protests; and tried unsuccessfully to entrap two Black activists in a plot to assassinate the state’s attorney general. Windecker’s work for the FBI resulted in at least two investigations: one in Colorado Springs, led by a young female detective, and the other in Denver, led by Windecker himself. Both are under scrutiny in federal court.