Headlines Jan. 31, 2022
Boulder To Pay $95K in Police Case Settlement
The City of Boulder will pay $95,000 to settle a case against a former police officer accused of unlawfully arresting a man in 2019.
The case involved Sammie Lawrence, who was observing an interaction between homeless people and police, including Officer Waylon Lolotai. 9News reports that Lolotai asked Lawrence to move away several times and to put down a stick he was holding. Lawrence uses the stick as a walking aid because of a seizure disorder.
Officer Lolotai arrested Lawrence, who also alleged that the officer used unreasonable force. However, an independent investigation concluded that the officer did have probable cause to arrest Lawrence and that he did not use unreasonable force.
The city is admitting no wrongdoing in agreeing to pay Lawrence to settle the case. Lolotai voluntarily left the police department in 2020 after a different investigation into social media posts.
Denver Considers Letting Mask Order Expire
Denver officials say that they are likely to let the city’s indoor mask rule expire this week. Currently, everyone who is older than two-years-old must wear a mask in all indoor spaces, but that mandate is set to expire Thursday.
The Tri-County Health Department, which covers Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, will discuss ending the mask mandate. Authorities told 9News that they are encouraged by the continuing decline in case rates and hospitalizations across the metro area. State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said last Thursday that, while there is movement in the right direction, there is still a lot of COVID-19 throughout Colorado.
King Soopers To Reopen Boulder Store
The King Soopers grocery store on Table Mesa Drive in Boulder, the site of a mass shooting in March of 2021, will reopen on February 9. The reopening was delayed by a recently settled workers’ strike against the company.
In a news release, the president of the supermarket said that restoring the location is a very important step in a healing journey, and signifies a tremendous milestone. According to reports by the Daily Camera during renovations at the store, about half of King Soopers employees who worked there at the time of the shooting intended to return.
Secretary of State Demanding More Information from Elbert County Clerk
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold is demanding more information from the Elbert County clerk about a computer hard drive. On Friday, Griswold’s office said that unauthorized people possess copies of the county’s election system hard drive. The Colorado Sun reports that these allegations arose during an investigation into the county clerk, Dallas Schroeder, a Republican. Elbert County is southeast of the Denver metro area.
According to Griswold’s office, copies of the hard drive were likely made using a prohibited removable storage device. A week ago, Griswold, a Democrat, ordered Schroeder to provide preliminary information. Schroeder admitted that two people who are not employed by the clerk’s office gave instructions to him as he copied images from the hard drive.
Griswold is also investigating Mesa County Clerk, Tina Peters, who is accused of copying an election system hard drive and other misconduct.
Aurora Examines Censuring Council Member
An Aurora city council member could be censured for making statements about police personnel matters during a radio interview. Danielle Jurinsky, allegedly said that the city’s police chief and deputy both should step down. During the KNUS interview, Jurinsky said the police shortage problem in the city could be fixed by removing the two officials immediately. She referred to deputy chief of police, Darin Parker, as “trash.”
Sentinel Colorado reports that another councilmember, Juan Marcano, said Jurinsky’s comments violated the city’s charter, which prohibits councilmembers from interfering in employment matters that fall under the city manager’s authority. Marcano began a public hearing process against Jurinsky. Jurinsky claims that her statement did not violate the city’s charter and that she did not call on the city manager to dismiss the chief and her deputy.
Denver Parking Fines to Increase
Denver parking fines will increase Tuesday because officials say the current cost level is not doing enough to encourage people to park legally. Drivers who make the city less accessible for others like pedestrians, cyclists, and those in wheelchairs, will have to pay more. Denverite reports that drivers who block a sidewalk when they park will be fined $65 instead of the previous fine of $25. Those who illegally use disability parking spots will now pay $350, a $200 increase.