Domestic violence reports increase and Denver introduces live streamed 911 calls

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Final Day of Woodyard Trial

Closing statements begin this week in the trial of suspended Aurora Police Officer Nathan Woodyard. Woodyard is facing charges of reckless manslaughter in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain.

Prosecutors called the final witness last week. Forensic pathologist Dr. Roger Mitchell testified that Woodyard’s actions against the 23-year-old McClain contributed to his death.

McClain was walking home when someone called 911, saying he looked “sketchy”. Woodyard, the first officer to arrive, put him in a neck hold. After paramedics and two more officers arrived, the paramedics injected McClain with a dose of ketamine.

At the time of the incident, officers said McClain was showing signs of “excited delirium”, or superhuman strength, a medical state that has been debunked by medical professionals.

The forensic pathologist also testified that McClain was in clear need of medical support, and that he didn’t see why the administration of ketamine was necessary. 

The defense continued to say Woodyard’s neck hold was not the cause of death, but rather the paramedic’s administration of ketamine.

Woodyard is the third police officer to face criminal charges for 23-year-old Elijah McClain’s death in 2019. One of the officers was let off without guilty charges and another was indicted earlier this month. 

Two paramedics responsible for administering ketamine to McClain will be tried next month. 

Jurors are scheduled to come back Tuesday to hear closing statements. 

 

Domestic Violence In Boulder County

Boulder County domestic violence calls have been rising, according to Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley. 

The shelter reports that almost half of the domestic violence cases in the county occur in Longmont. 31 beds are available in the shelter but they’ve had no vacancy the entire year due to skyrocketing rates of violence. 

The shelter sees the most demand for help in the summer but a greater amount of domestic violence reports are made during the winter months. Executive Director Of Safe Shelter, Jackie List, says victims find it easier to reach out for help in the warmer months due to children being out of school. She says their shelter begins filling up in May.

The Safe Shelter provides a 24/7 Crisis Help Line for those in danger. More information and resources can be found on the wesbite

 

Palestine Rally 

Hundreds gathered outside the Colorado State Capitol Sunday to protest Israel’s violent acts in Palestine. The march was organized by the Colorado Palestine Coalition and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

It comes at the heels of the electric shutdown in Gaza and a ground invasion that according to reports has been cloaked in secrecy. 

Israel’s military has intensified their bombing campaign and the death count of Palestinians is now 8,000, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. 

Protestors called for the U.S. to stop sending aid to Israel and criticized President Joe Biden’s association with Israeli leaders, according to The Denver Post. They also urged Coloradans to vote in the upcoming election and called for a ceasefire.

 

Mayor Johnston Proposes Purchasing Hotel For Unhoused 

The Denver City Council Committee approved Mayor Mike Johnston’s proposal Wednesday to buy a hotel to house hundreds of unhoused people. This is part of Johnston’s plan to shelter 1,000 unhoused people by the end of this year. 

Doubletree Hilton, located in northeastern Denver, would cost the city about $39 million to purchase. A separate proposal to lease the hotel has also been approved by the committee. It would cost the city over $83,000 a month to lease the hotel, a total of about $1.25 million a year. 

Doubletree has a bed capacity of 450 and would be another place for unhoused people to find shelter, now that colder weather is arriving. 

 

Live Streamed 911 Calls

The city of Denver is implementing a new technology that would enable 911 callers to livestream videos to dispatchers. 

At the time of a call, people will receive a text to their cell phone that gives them the option to stream live video and send a precise location to emergency services. The dispatchers see a blurred image of the video and have the option to view the video. 

The blur was put in place to minimize traumatic images, according to Denver 911 director Andrew Dameron. 

The call center says the new technology will help them prepare for emergencies adequately and can aid in situations where the caller is unsafe or unable to speak on the phone. 

 

 

Ivonne Olivas

Ivonne Olivas

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