FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 1999
On Tuesday morning, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado called for an immediate and thorough investigation of possible police misconduct in the wake of news footage which appeared to show the beating of suspects by the Denver Police. Today they applauded the swift response by the Denver Police Department and welcomed the intervention of Mayor Wellington Webb.
"We are pleased that the internal affairs investigation is underway and is expected to be completed by next week," stated Michele Parish, Acting Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado. "It is heartening that the mayor and chief of police are taking the matter seriously. We urge that the results be shared with the public immediately. As citizens we entrust the police with tremendous power. In return, the police must hold themselves to account when incidents such as this occur."
Parish also encouraged internal affairs to investigate whether the alleged brutality was influenced by racism on the part of police officers.
"The videotape of the incident was extremely disturbing. Unfortunately, Hispanics and African-Americans are often treated by the police more harshly than whites," Parish said. "The possible influence of racism in the decision to conduct a dangerous high-speed chase and on the actions of officers while taking suspects into custody needs to be part of the investigation."
The ACLU of Colorado acts as a watchdog in the area of police misconduct and encourages Coloradans to write the ACLU regarding such incidents (400 Corona Street, Denver, CO 80218).
The ACLU also distributes so-called "bust cards," wallet-sized cards in English and Spanish, detailing "What to Do If You Are Stopped by the Police." The cards are available upon request (303)777-5482. Further information regarding police misconduct is also available on the national ACLU Website (www.aclu.org).
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ACLU APPLAUDS SWIFT INVESTIGATION IN CAR CHASE BEATING
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