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Race To Justice
Welcome to the Race to Justice campaign.
The recent incidents of excessive force and racial profiling committed by Denver's Police and Sheriff Departments simply cannot be allowed to continue. Denver needs a radical overhaul of our public safety agencies; one that rebuilds community trust and creates an atmosphere where abuse is never tolerated. The ACLU, along with many other community groups and local leaders, is demanding immediate action.
Reform cannot wait. We are encouraged by the Justice Department's decision to consider a formal investigation of Denver's law enforcement agencies, but this conversation needs to begin with the community.
We're making progress. On August 4th, 2011 we met with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and discussed our ideas for reforming Denver's law enforcement agency. We presented him with this letter and list of suggested policy changes. In late October, the Denver Police Department announced it was adopting one of our suggestions by creating a pilot program that will issue body-worn cameras to officers. Watch our video response here.
Reverend Marvin L. Booker Memorial Gathering
Watch the video from the memorial event that took place Saturday, July 9, 2011 in front of the Denver Jail at to honor the life of Rev. Marvin L. Booker, on the one-year anniversary of his death at the hands of Denver law enforcement.
Marvin Booker was killed by five Denver Sheriff deputies in the holding room of the Denver Jail on July 9, 2010. Watch the survelliance camera video of his restraint, including deputies kneeling on his back, applying the carotid artery "sleeper" hold and Tasing him for at least eight seconds.
With each individual act of violence committed by a Denver law enforcement officer--both Police and Sheriffs--the need for immediate action grows larger. The decision by the Manager of Safety not to discipline any of the Sheriff's deputies involved in the killing of Marvin Booker was merely the latest in a continuous narrative of law enforcement brutality that stretches back decades.
The list of victims' names is long, but the most recent include:
Alexander Landau: Alexander Landau (left) was severely beaten upon asking officers if they had a warrant to search the trunk of his car. The initial Internal Affairs investigation found the officers' actions to be "within the policies of the Denver Police Department."
Michael DeHerrera: Michael DeHerrera (right) was beaten by Denver Police Department officers for calling his father, a Pueblo County Sheriff, to tell him that police were at that moment assaulting Michael's friend. The city's Manger of Safety Ron Perea resigned following the public outcry over the video of the incident.
These deputies who killed Marvin Booker will not receive punishment for his homicide because they were found to have followed policy and protocol. A man is dead; a son, a brother, a friend is never coming back, and there is no punishment for those who took his life. These policies are killing us…literally.
Want to read the policies?
Click here to read the letter we sent to the Dept. of Justice asking for and investigation of Denver Law enforcement, as well as the use-of-force policeis of both the Denver Sheriff Department and Denver Police Department.
Like many of you, we are outraged by this finding and we know that this isn’t the only matter of injustice in Denver’s law enforcement agencies. The Director of the Sheriff’s office is calling for a meeting on community input on the use of force policy. But a minor policy change, a single community meeting, or any other token effort to mitigate our concerns will not placate us.