Headlines – August 11, 2023

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    Headlines – August 11, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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Ryan Partridge’s Story and “Deliberate Indifference” to Mental Health in Boulder County Jail

Yesterday, we reported on the story of Ryan Partridge, who, after a 6-year court battle, won a $2.5 million settlement from Boulder County. The settlement sought compensation for excessive force and for deliberate indifference to Ryan’s mental health when he was in the County jail for a misdemeanor. 

In 2016, Ryan was placed in solitary confinement for weeks at a time. During confinement, Ryan, who has schizophrenia, experienced psychotic episodes that went untreated because the Boulder County jail does not force inmates to take their medications. After other incidents of self-harm while in solitary confinement, including a suicide attempt, Ryan blinded himself. 

Ryan Partridge and his parents Shelley and Richard spoke to KGNU’s Maeve Conran in 2020. 

Richard said that over the course of  Ryan’s about 180 days in jail, his mental health worsened.

“He became more ill, more irrational behavior, more of a problem at the jail. He spent a lot of time in solitary confinement. He was denied all activities with other prisoners, groups that they have different activities that they do, he was isolated. Even at one time period – I don’t know the month – they took his mattress away, his blanket. They shut off his water.”

Ryan was given treatment for his schizophrenia following his jail release. 

Richard said in 2020 that Ryan was doing well. Well he’s been a joy at home.”

Ryan said that he hoped his case would highlight the need for reform of a system that uses jails to warehouse those who are mentally ill. 

“Our hearts go out to everyone fighting a battle like this, or another, and it could happen to anybody, I’m sure we all know people out there who are at risk for this,” said Ryan Partridge. “There needs to be systemic change.”

A bill signed into law in 2021 is part of that change. House Bill 1211 prohibits confining an inmate involuntarily in their cell for 22 or more hours per day without meaningful human interaction, significant movement or time outside the space.

Unhoused Man Sues Lafayette For Not Providing Shelter For Himself, Son

An unhoused man has filed a federal lawsuit against Lafayette, stating that city ordinances prevent him and his son from camping, while there is not enough indoor shelter for the homeless. 

According to The Colorado Sun, James H. Holmes Sr. said he and his 17-year-old son have been homeless for several years. Holmes alleges that Lafayette police have harassed him for camping and that local rules violate his rights to privacy, to freedom from self-incrimination and from cruel and unusual punishment.

Boulder-Nablus Sister City Fundraiser 

The Boulder Nablus Sister City Project (BNSCP) is hosting a fundraiser to purchase an ambulance for Askar Camp in Nablus, Palestine. The only medical clinic near the Askar Camp closes at 2 p.m.

Essrea Charin, board member of the Boulder Nablus Sister City Project says residents needing medical attention after that time must travel to a hospital in a city under military occupation.

“Israeli military will shut down the main road and it splits the City of Nablus in half and so it prevents vehicles from getting to the west side from the east side and vice versa,” said Charin. “There’s many times when they’ve had to transport injured or sick people in private vehicles and then the private vehicles don’t get through the blockades that the Israeli military puts up and so many people have died.” 

The sister city partnership between Boulder and Nablus began in 2016 and BNSCP holds fundraisers every year to aid the sister city. This year’s event will take place Saturday, Aug. 19 at the First United Methodist Church of Boulder and will include Mediterranean food, crafts and dance lessons. 

Former San Luis DA Sues His Successor For Fake Felony Charge 

Former San Luis Valley District Attorney Robert Willett filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against his successor and the district attorney’s office for a wrongful felony charge. 

Willett, the former 12th Judicial District Attorney, filed this $5 million lawsuit against his successor, former DA Alonzo Payne, and the DA’s office. The suit alleges that Payne and the DA’s office wrongfully charged Willett with embezzlement last year when Willett gave himself a Christmas bonus.

The charges came just days after Willett called for Payne to resign from his position as the district attorney. 

Willett said that Payne brought the lawsuit in retaliation for Willett’s criticism of Payne. 

The recent suit also names the former assistant DA, an investigator and over 10 more employees of the DA’s office as defendants in the alleged conspiracy against Willett. 

Alonzo Payne resigned in July of 2022 after an investigation by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office found that Payne routinely violated crime victims’ rights. Payne was disbarred in September of 2022.

Over $720,000 Worth of Bikes Stolen in Boulder This Year

Over $720,000 worth of bikes have been stolen in Boulder so far this year. 

The Boulder Police Department is warning locals of a recent spike in bike thefts. In the past 30 days, 45 bikes have been reported stolen. 

356 bikes were stolen this year, amounting to a total of $728,000 in value. Only 10 have been recovered so far. 

Denver Auditors Track Down Over A Million in Unpaid Wages 

Since last November, the Denver Auditor’s Office has recovered over $1.4 million in wages that employers stole from workers. Some of that money came from an increase in the minimum wage, which some employers disregarded.

But in January of this year, Denver City Council passed the Civil Wage Theft Ordinance. The ordinance allowed the Auditor’s office to go after employers committing wage theft, an illegal practice that can include not paying overtime, promising to pay overdue wages on a future project and writing paychecks that bounce.

According to 9News, the average amount that auditors recovered for an employee was over $200, though some workers received thousands of dollars.

Denver workers who believe they are a victim of wage theft can contact Denver Labor, a division of the Auditor’s Office.

Boulder to Hold First Street Soccer Competition 

For the first time, Boulder is holding a Street Soccer competition. This Sunday, Aug. 13, teams of five will face off in a day-long street soccer competition. The first ever Boulder Street Soccer Classic will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., in the heart of downtown Boulder, on 13th street between Arapahoe Ave. and Canyon Blvd.

The teams have been finalized and split into two brackets, one for adults and one for youth. Each team has paid a small registration fee, which will support youth soccer programs in Colorado. Attendance is free to the public.

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    Headlines – August 11, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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