Denver Direct: Historian Goodstein weighs in on Hentzell Park

Friday, February 8, 2013

Historian Goodstein weighs in on Hentzell Park

Phil Goodstein

Here is a history lesson on Paul Hentzell.  I develop it in either The Haunts of Washington Park or the Ghosts of University Park.
Paul Hentzell was a long-time, conservative Republican who moved from University Park to new sections of southeast Denver. For the most part, he supported business as usual except with the police department.  In part, this was due to personal experience.
One day, Hentzell parked his car in the lot of the old police headquarters at 13th and Champa.  When he returned to his vehicle, three of the tires were flat, obvious police vandalism.  When he entered the building to complain, the police slammed him against the wall and beat him.  They only apologized when they realized that they had beaten the wrong man, not the usual suspect.  Hentzell landed up being part of the anti-McNichols majority on council during his last term. 
In other words, the park is named for some one who questioned the usual horrid treatment of blacks and others by the police department.  Get rid of the park, and we can get rid of the bad memories and proceed with police business as usual.