Denver was recently reported to be the 2nd most lethal police department in the country; Boulder’s police force was found to be the 2nd worst in the state for arrest rates of African Americans. In the wake of the national and local attention on police violence, this panel discussion and audience question and answer period will consider what can be done to make our justice and economic systems a safe place for all of us, but especially for people of color.
The Collaborative Community Radio program held a community forum on April 6th at the First Congregational Church in Boulder featuring:
Alex Landau, beaten by three officers in Denver in 2009 who called him racial epithets as they beat him with fists, flashlights and a radio. The officers were cleared of wrongdoing, though the city paid a large settlement in his case, and one of the officers was fired for another excessive force case in the beating of Michael DeHerrera less than four months later. Alex now works for Colorado Progressive Coalition and speaks thoughtfully and with authority on the topic of police brutality against people of color.
Whitney Leeds, a recent CU law school graduate and member of Communities United Against Mass Incarceration – shares her perspective as both a lawyer and an organizer seeking to effect change. She also serves on the National Lawyers Guild of Colorado, training legal observers who attend protests and other citizen/police interactions to ensure Constitutional rights are not violated.
Darren O’Connor, an activist in both Boulder and Denver shares his experiences working with homeowners to hold off what he feels are fraudulent evictions, through non-violent action, which includes experiencing what is believed to be the first SWAT team brought against a non-violent foreclosure resistance action in the country. He has recently engaged police commanders in Denver and police leadership in Boulder in an attempt to bring police and activists together in dialogue.