Denver Public Schools Board election overpasses $1.3 million and Attorney General Weiser hosts Kroger Albertsons merger meeting

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Elijah McClain Update

 A forensic pathologist testified in court yesterday, saying there is no evidence that the neck hold used by Aurora Police Officer Nathan Woodyard to restrain Elijah McClain led to his death.

Woodyard is in the final stages of a trial and faces charges of reckless manslaughter in the 2019 death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain.

Woodyard placed McClain in a neck hold after someone called police, saying McClain looked “sketchy.”

Dr. Michael Arnall testified Tuesday that the original forensic report had no evidence of injuries caused by Woodyard’s neck hold, except for petechial hemorrhages. He said the hemorrhages could have also been caused by the vomiting. 

Arnall testified that a neck hold, such as the one put on McClain, can lead to death after 3-5 minutes. He said that based on the videos he analyzed, McClain was talking to the officers and appeared to have recovered from the neck hold.

Previous to Woodyard, two other Aurora Police Officers withstood trials, with one officer acquitted and one charged. The paramedics who administered the ketamine that led to McClain’s death will undergo a trial later in this month. 

 

Committee Denies Bill To Revive Illicit Drug Overdoses

State Legislators voted against a bill that would have allowed the building of overdose prevention centers in Colorado. Four members of the interim Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Study Committee voted in favor of the bill. Six voted against it. 

The overdose prevention centers, also known as safe-use sites, would allow individuals to use illicit drugs under the supervision of employees

Gov. Jared Polis openly opposed the bill, saying there is uncertainty about how the federal government would enforce the sites. 

Proponents of the bill can reintroduce it in January but the possibilities of it passing are slim, according to The Colorado Sun, because Polis is likely to veto the bill. 

 

Denver School Board Race Raises Concerns

More than $1.36 million have been spent on this year’s Denver Public Schools Board election, an amount that greatly surpasses the average spending according to Chalkbeat Colorado

Currently, the pro-charter school group Better Leaders, Stronger Schools, which Axios Denver calls a dark money organization, is spending four times more money than the teachers union. 

They have spent a quarter of a million dollars on television ads. This marks the first time a T.V. ad has been used in DPS board election history.

The group is also under fire for sending mailers with racist undertones. An image of candidate Kwame Spearman is on one side of the mailer and the phrase “bullies are not okay in our schools” is written over the top of the other side, accompanied by an image of a white child that appears sad. Spearman says this is dog whistling, and that the group “knew what they were doing.”

According to Chalkbeat, the pro-charter organizations aim to overthrow the teachers union, although only three of the seven seats on the board are up for reelection.

 

Family Sues Return to Nature Funeral Home

Following the discovery of 189 decaying bodies, a Colorado funeral home is being sued by a family of the deceased. 

Richard Law’s father, who died three years ago. was found among the decaying bodies at Return to Nature Funeral home in Colorado Springs. Law alleges the funeral home owners sent him  fake ashes after what he believed was his fathers  cremation. 

According to The Colorado Sun, the lawsuit accuses Return to Nature and its owners, Jon and Carie Hallford, of intentionally inflicting emotional distress, negligence, fraud and violating a number of Colorado laws among other claims.

Associated Press reported the fabrication of the funeral home’s cremation records earlier this month. Law enforcement say they have made no arrests. Families of the decaying bodies are now being contacted by authorities. 

 

Kroger Albertson Merger Meeting

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan will host a listening session in Denver at noon today, to discuss the Kroger and Albertsons merger. 

Kroger owns King Soopers while Albertsons owns Safeway, two prominent grocery stores in Colorado.

Weiser is conducting a legal investigation into the merger to ensure that it is fair for employees, suppliers and consumers. 

Union leaders have voiced concerns for the merger, saying it would make it difficult for employees to negotiate contracts with improved wages and benefits. They also say the merger would undermine competing grocery stores and raise prices for consumers.

Residents are invited to bring questions and concerns to the meeting occurring at 345 S. Grove St in Denver.

Picture of Ivonne Olivas

Ivonne Olivas

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