Headlines June 23, 2020

Headlines June 23, 2020

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The City of Aurora will this evening hold a virtual community meeting with the finalists for the city’s police chief.

The event takes place this evening at 7pm. The killing of Elijah McClain is expected to be addressed by the finalists.

McClain, a 23-year-old black man, died in August 2019 after being stopped by police for no criminal reason.

A caller to 911 reported that a man was dancing to music while wearing a ski mask.

McClain, a massage therapist, who was unarmed and on his way home from a convenience store, was put in a chokehold, given ketamine and then suffered two heart attacks on the way to hospital. He was pronounced brain dead 6 days later.

No body camera footage was available from the officers involved.

The Adams County District Attorney later determined that all three officers did not commit any criminal acts, and no charges were filed against them.

Elijah McClain’s death has seen renewed interest in the recent protests over the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

Almost 1.9 million people have signed a Change.org petition calling for a new investigation into McClain’s death.

The city of Aurora recently posted a message on its website that says the City Manager is working with members of the Aurora City Council and the Mayor to initiate a new independent, external investigation of the actions of police, firefighters and paramedics in the Elijah McClain case.

The four finalists for the Aurora police chief are:

  • Marcus Dudley Jr., a commander with Aurora Police
  • Alexander Jones, a colonel and bureau chief with the Baltimore County Police Department
  • Avery Moore, assistant police chief with the Dallas Police Department
  • Vanessa Wilson, the current interim chief for Aurora Police

The city said the city manager will make a final recommendation in July. City council would then have to vote to confirm the city manager’s recommendation.

The community meeting will be lived streamed at auroratv.org.

Protestors descended on Monday’s Denver City Council meeting demanding changes to the police department.

The Denverite reports that scores of protesters took over Denver City Council Chambers chanting “defund DPD” just before the city council’s weekly meeting was set to begin at 5:30 p.m.

For two-and-a-half hours, city council members listened to the speakers who demanded changes to the city’s police force. Some of the comments included calls for taxpayer money to be redirected away from law enforcement and toward behavioral health services. Others called for the police department to be disbanded altogether.

The Denverite reports that protesters repeatedly named Black and Latinx people killed by law enforcement in Denver, including Michael Marshall, William DeBose, Marvin Booker, Jessica Hernandez, Paul Childs and Ryan Ronquillo.

The Boulder County District Attorney will hold a virtual town hall meeting next week on police accountability.

According to a statement from the DA’s office, recent events have had a profound impact on the criminal justice system. COVID-19 has caused issues for community health and safety, as well as a significant backlog of cases and trials. Additionally, there have been deeply felt expressions of the anguish and outrage throughout the nation since the murder of (George) Floyd,”

The statement says that we must now find a path forward.

The town hall, “The Path Forward for the Criminal Justice System,” will be held virtually at 11:30 a.m. June 30.

Listen here:

(Download Audio)

Protestors descended on Monday’s Denver City Council meeting demanding changes to the police department.

The Denverite reports that scores of protesters took over Denver City Council Chambers chanting “defund DPD” just before the city council’s weekly meeting was set to begin at 5:30 p.m.

For two-and-a-half hours,city council members listened to the speakers who demanded changes to the city’s police force. Some of the comments included calls for taxpaymer money to be redirected away from law enforcement and toward behavioral health services. Others called for the police department to be disbanded altogether.

The Denverite reports that protesters repeatedly named Black and Latinx people killed by law enforcement in Denver, including Michael Marshall, William DeBose, Marvin Booker, Jessica Hernandez, Paul Childs and Ryan Ronquillo.

The Boulder Valley School Board is expected to discuss the issue of police officers, or school resource officers, in schools at its meeting this evening.

The Daily Camera reports that The NAACP’s Boulder County chapter is leading a local effort to remove police from Boulder Valley’s schools.

Recently Denver Public Schools agreed to phase out the use of school resource officers by June 2021.

Boulder Valley Superintendent Rob Anderson previously said that any discussion on removing school resource officers needs to involve the entire community including students, parents, teachers and school administrators.

Kristine Johnson, co-chair of the Boulder County NAACP education committee, told the Daily Camera that she’s concerned a long timeline for a discussion will mean less urgency.

A statewide ballot measure that would lead to a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program officially launched its campaign Monday.

Representatives of Colorado Families First, the group behind the ballot measure spoke today on a press conference call and outlined the need to have a measure that would give workers in the state access to paid family and medical leave benefits.

The campaign started with three different ballot measures but is now focusing on gathering signatures for Initiative #283 which would give an exemption from paying premiums to businesses with fewer than 10 workers.

For the measure to get on the statewide ballot this November, the campaign must collect approximately 124,000 valid signatures by August 3.