Headlines July 28, 2020

Headlines July 28, 2020

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Some Colorado lawmakers are calling for a special legislative session to deal with education as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
The Denver Post reports that nearly all Republican members of the state house and state senate signed a letter that was delivered this morning to Gov. Jared Polis.

The letter asks the governor to approve a special session so that lawmakers can develop “innovative policies that ensure every child has access to a high quality education, regardless of their unique health circumstances, age or income level.”

The lawmakers cite ongoing challenges parents and schools are facing about the various models for education in the fall semester.

One of the proposals lawmakers called for in the letter is to redirect all or a portion of the per-pupil funding that school districts receive to families whose children may not be able to attend school in-person full time.

The restaurant in Castle Rock that opened its doors on Mothers’ Day in defiance of a state ordinance has permanently closed.

The owners of C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen defied public health orders and re-opened their business during the coronavirus shutdown.

Video of the packed restaurant went viral at a time when cases of the virus were rising in the state.

The owners announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page that they wouldn’t renew the restaurant’s lease on Trail Boss Drive after July.

The Facebook post said Governor Jared Polis personally attacked them, and used them as an example, to ensure other businesses obey the statewide order. The post included several bible verses and ended with an invitation for customers to visit their second restaurant in Colorado Springs.

Denver City Council on Monday voted to waive interest payments on late property taxes.

The Denverite reports that last night’s vote comes after a state law was passed that lets cities and towns waive those interest payments.

Homeowners who pay their property taxes late normally must pay interest for each month they’re past due.

Property taxes were due July 1 and late fees would normally be accruing, however, the interest payments are waived until at least October 1 and can be extended with another vote.

 

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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock gave his annual state of the city address on Monday, touching on the challenges facing the city due to rising cases of the coronavirus as well as the economic fallout of the pandemic.

300 Denverites have died from COVID-19 and cases continue to rise.

Mayor Hancock said that the city is leaning on science-backed measures to curb the spread of the virus, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Last week the Denver Public Health Department said that all people three years of age or older must wear a face covering when inside public spaces.

Hancock also touched on the recent protests around racism and police brutality and announced the creation of a think tank that will lead city wide conversations on racism and bias.

Describing racism as a public health crisis Hancock said the new institute would help develop a “vaccine” for the virus of racism.

The Denver Institute of Equity and Reconciliation will be a public private partnership that will eventually include civic and civil rights leaders; faith leaders; diversity, equity and inclusion experts; and public safety experts.

“Our vision is for this institute to become the national leader in research of racism, bias, inclusion, practices of reconciliation, and development of programs and trainings for law enforcement, and the public, private and education sectors,” Hancock said.

A lawsuit was filed yesterday against the city of Denver and three police officers over an incident in May when a Black man was wrongly handcuffed in a grocery store parking lot and officers pointed a gun in the direction of his car containing his three young daughters.

The Denverite reports that Naphtali Israel, who is Black, and his stepdaughters, who are also Black, had done nothing wrong. A woman who saw them in their car at a Safeway parking lot in Montclair asked a grocery store clerk to call the police saying she’d seen the man with a gun, something that is itself not a crime.

When police arrived, one officer pointed a gun toward the car with the young girls inside. They then handcuffed Israel in front of the children but ultimately let him go after asking some questions.

The Denver Police Department told the Denverite that the officer did nothing wrong, saying that drawing the gun was an appropriate way to ready the officer for an armed person.

Israel and his wife are suing over civil rights violations and are seeking compensation and an apology from the officers involved as well as policy changes and training.

Protestors rallied outside the Aurora city council chambers on Monday evening while council members asked questions over how police handled protests on Saturday.

Council members asked how a driver was able to speed through the crowds of hundreds of protesters and then why police didn’t arrest the driver when he stopped.

At least two people were injured as they protested the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of city officers and first responders nearly a year ago.

Mayor Mike Coffman also questioned why police didn’t do more to stop vandalism of the Aurora courthouse later on Saturday.

The Denver Post reports that Deputy City Manager Jason Batchelor spoke on behalf of the police department after police leadership were called away from the meeting after two Aurora police officers were injured in a shooting in Denver.

Batchelor told city council that the police department opted to use a more hands-off approach after facing criticism and a federal lawsuit for using pepper spray and physical force on a largely peaceful crowd on June 27.

Police announced on Monday evening that they had arrested a man who fired gun shots at Saturday’s protest injuring 2 people.

Samuel Young, 23, was arrested on four counts of attempted homicide, the police said in a blog post.

Witnesses say that Young seemed to firing the gun at the Jeep that had ploughed through the crowd.