SANTA FE – The Santa Fe Police Department on Wednesday released lapel video, audio files and written reports from the anti-Trump protests that took place in downtown Santa Fe on Saturday afternoon – and one man who was arrested in the fray admitted to officers that he voted for Trump, but was there to “protect” other protesters.
In all, three men were arrested that day; one woman was cited for indecent exposure and another for obstructing a police officer during a mostly peaceful protest in which some participants went “rogue,” according to police.
Sergio Muterperl, 30, Travis Barnes, 20, and 18-year-old Morgan Cook were arrested after the protests Saturday and spent two nights in the Santa Fe County jail. They were released Monday after being arraigned in front of Santa Fe Magistrate Court Judge Donna Bevacqua-Young. All three men were charged with being a pedestrian on a roadway and obstructing or resisting a police officer, but Muterperl also was charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer for allegedly pulling officer Alejandro Arroyo down nine stairs, injuring Arroyo’s right shoulder.
Body camera footage from Arroyo shows officers standing on the Plaza with what police estimate to be between 300 and 400 protesters demonstrating against President-elect Donald Trump. Officers then start walking toward the Santa Fe Arcade on San Francisco Street, entering it and running down the length of the arcade, according to the video. Arroyo can be seen trying to grab Muterperl at the top of a flight of stairs near 35 Degrees North Coffee, and both men tumble down some stairs before Muterperl is apprehended. There is no sound on the video.
According to a report from Officer Cipriano Varela, “The reason for wanting to contact these individuals was they were the group leading the protesters through the middle of the streets and we wanted to speak with them about leading the march and issue them citations for pedestrians on roadways.” He wrote that as Arroyo was trying to apprehend Muterperl, “Muterperl turned and pulled Officer Arroyo down the stairwell.”
According to audio from a recorder worn by Sgt. Steve Cosban, protesters were marching peacefully before “rogues” started blocking traffic and sitting down in the middle of downtown streets.
“We have 300 to 400 protesters here right now,” Cosban said. “It broke away from the peaceful protest that was on the Plaza originally. We have 300 to 400 just like, rogue people who went down Guadalupe all the way to Cerrillos… and they’ve come back now to the Plaza.”
Other demonstrators who started to gather at the coffee shop started shouting “Why are they being arrested?” and “Let him go! Let him go!”
Cook can be heard telling an officer in a different audio file that even though Cook voted for Trump, he was there to protect the demonstrators.
“I’m just trying understand it because it seemed like the protest was against Trump, but you told me that you voted for Trump,” the officer said.
“I was there standing in solidarity,” Cook said.