Jimmy’s Colorado Politics Column | 9News has some explaining to do

Written by on October 12, 2020

“Did you or did you not introduce a plan with John Kasich?” the incumbent asked his challenger, with confidence and eagerness in his voice.  “That’s the simple question.”

Tragedy has again engulfed our capital city. On Saturday, as attendees left a “Patriot Muster” in Civic Center Park that organizers say was to support the U.S. Constitution and law and order, a man shot and killed another man. 

The suspect, 30-year-old Matthew Dolloff, fatally shot conservative rally attendee Lee Keltner, 49, at 3:37 p.m. Dolloff is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, with arraignment set for this morning in Denver.  The shooting appears to have been excessive force by Dolloff, who was providing security for KUSA 9News staff via the private security firm Pinkerton.

Based on available information, video footage and images, Keltner got into a verbal altercation with another individual and then proceeded to walk away from that individual in Dolloff’s relative direction.  Dolloff reached for a mace can at Keltner’s side.  With his left hand, Keltner slapped Dolloff’s face to push him away.  Keltner stepped back, pulled out his mace and Dolloff drew his firearm.  Almost simultaneously, Keltner projected the spray and Dolloff opened fire.  Shot directly in the head, Keltner fell backward and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Shockingly, Fox 31 KDVR reports that, according to Denver’s Excise and License Director of Communications, Eric Esudero, Dolloff was not licensed to provide security in Denver. 

“(T)here is no record for an active security guard now or ever for an individual named Matthew Dolloff,” Esudero told KDVR.  “If he was operating as a security guard he was in violation of the law. Administratively, a security guard operating without a license could be fined up to $999 dollars and face up to a year in jail. The company he works for is also legally responsible for making sure all their security guard employees have a license and could face administrative action…” (emphasis in original).

So, it looks like Denver’s leading local news station, 9News, hired an unlicensed security guard.  Moreover, when news first broke of the shooting, speculation abounded that Dolloff, then unidentified, was left-wing and probably Antifa.  The Denver Post reported as much.  But later, at 7:21 p.m. Saturday, Denver Police tweeted, “Update: Further investigation has determined the suspect is a private security guard with no affiliation with Antifa. Additional information will be released as it becomes available” (emphasis added).

Prior to this tweet, many of us waited for more information to affirm the shooter was connected to Antifa.  Afterwards, what we were hearing didn’t add up. Following online investigations by independent journalists, it now appears that, while Dolloff’s official “affiliations” are 9News and Pinkerton, he simultaneously has a long history of involvement with and sympathies for the Occupy Movement, Antifa and other far-left elements. Both can and appear to be true.

That means an unlicensed, left-wing security guard was armed and present at a rally of conservative activists and Trump supporters — and he killed one of them.  Why was an unlicensed security guard with far-left sympathies providing security for 9News? 

While that question is for KUSA management, there are separate questions for Kyle Clark, host of “Next” on 9News.  Much attention has been directed online at Clark for a September 26 tweet mocking conservative talk radio listeners.

“Shame to think there are people cowering in the suburbs, cleaning their guns, peeking through the blinds wondering if every person of color outside is Antifa,” he tweeted.  “If you’re afraid to come into Denver because of talk radio fear-mongering, you’re missing out on a lot.” 

As a Denver talk radio host who has publicly expressed deep concerns about growing violence in our capital city, I am genuinely disappointed in Clark’s tweet and attitude prior to Saturday’s events. 

First, race has nothing to do with Antifa. For example, after Antifa extremists shut down the sixth annual Pro-Police Rally in July, conservative talkers publicly observed that at least 95% of the disruptors appeared to be white.  As for “talk radio fear-mongering,” this tweet hasn’t aged well. 9News says their staff have had private security at protests for months. 

If Denver is so safe, protests are peaceful and it’s mere “right-wing fearmongering,” why private security?  Moreover, if reports are confirmed about Dolloff’s Antifa sympathies, doesn’t that confirm concerns?  It’s as though 9News and Clark have the attitude, “We might need security, but you are overreacting thanks to conservative talk radio.”

Kyle Clark is a credible media personality. 9News is a leading Denver news outlet. They have a lot to answer for — or their credibility will be gone.

Click here to read Jimmy’s October 12 column at Colorado Politics, a sister publication of The Washington Examiner.

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