February 09, 2023
Headlines — February 09, 2023 Stacie Johnson
More Boulder Residents File Complaints Over Police Oversight Panel
The Boulder Police Oversight Panel had its first meeting last night since the Boulder City Council appointed highly contested new members to the panel last month. Boulder residents have filed seven complaints over a perceived mishandling of the city council’s police oversight panel appointment process. Among the complaints, Boulder residents allege that Boulder Police intimidated people into not approving or forcing the resignation of two of the panel’s original appointees. The officers arrived off-duty but in uniform for a city council meeting. Which a complainant called “an inappropriate show of force.”
Two other complaints allege City Council members voted for panelists based on “real or perceived bias, prejudice or conflict of interest.” Council members allegedly have direct relationships with people who serve on the Selection Committee.
Car Owner In Denver Allegedly Shoots And Kills 12-Year Old Theft Suspect
Denver Police are investigating the shooting death Sunday of 12-year-old Elias Armstrong. 12-year-old Elias Armstrong was allegedly at the wheel of a stolen vehicle when the car’s owner found it parked in the area of a Denver neighborhood. The owner had reported the theft earlier that day to police, telling them he was tracking the vehicle with an app from its original location. The man told police that when he approached his stolen vehicle, he exchanged gunfire with its occupants.
Police took Armstrong to the hospital where he was pronounced dead from gunshot wounds. Police believe the vehicle’s other occupants likely fled on foot sometime before officers arrived. The vehicle’s owner was contacted at the scene and has not been arrested at this time while officials investigate what led to the gunfire exchange.
Boulder County DA Seeks Neuro-Psych Exam Of Accuse King Soopers Shooter
The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion on February 2 for the accused King Soopers shooter to undergo a forensic neuropsychological exam. The exam would determine if the shooter’s lack of participation in court-ordered treatment indicates a mental health disorder or a choice to remain non-compliant. Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was declared incompetent to stand trial last May and again last month. At the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo, the accused shooter declined individual and group therapy sessions and refused to discuss his accused crimes.
Boulder Parents And Residents Urging City Lawmakers To Establish Encampment-Free Zones Around Schools
A group of Boulder parents and residents is calling for the removal of encampments near schools. The group known as the Safe Zone 4 Schools Initiative is petitioning Boulder’s elected officials and city leadership to establish an encampment-free zone within a 500-foot radius around schools. According to Boulder Beat News, the city’s current policy is to provide unhoused people with at least 72 hours’ notice before having to vacate their encampment area. The Safe Zone 4 Schools Initiative is asking the city council for an exemption on that 72 hours notice if the encampment is within 500-feet of a school.
The Safe Zone 4 Schools Initiative argues the encampment-free zone would protect young students from witnessing drug use, crime, and harassment. A city spokesperson told Boulder Beat News prior court rulings established the need for a notice period prior to removing an encampment.
High Plains Library District Violated State Anti-Discrimination Laws When Firing Erie Librarian
The Colorado Civil Rights Division has determined that the High Plains Library District based in Weld County has violated state anti-discrimination laws when library officials fired an Erie librarian. Shortly before her termination in 2021, librarian Brooky Parks resisted the library’s cancellation of programs she had planned for LGBTQ teens and youth of color.
The Denver Post reports the division issued determination letters to the library district Wednesday along with findings that three employees also assisted with the discriminatory firing and retaliation. The library district did not respond to a request for comment by the Denver Post as of Wednesday evening. Park’s attorney told the Denver Post the division’s finding is significant as it is among the first in the nation for a state government to conclude censorship targeted at LGBTQ youth or youth of color violates anti-discrimination laws.
325,000 May Lose Medicaid As COVID-19 Policy Ends
As many as 325-thousand Coloradans could lose Medicaid coverage soon, with the end of the Federal government’s COVID-19 public health emergency in May. Colorado Politics reports that most will lose eligibility because their income is more than the Medicaid limit. Nationwide, millions of people were able to keep their coverage temporarily, after losing their jobs when businesses were forced to shut down due to the pandemic. Employers are the primary source of insurance for most people. Colorado has since recovered from jobs lost because of the pandemic. People being removed from Medicaid would happen over a period of months, and is not unexpected.
Bipartisan State Lawmakers Fast-Tracking $5 Million To Bolster Denver Health From Financial Straits
A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is fast-tracking legislation aimed at providing $5 million to Denver Health in order to bolster the hospital from falling revenues and increased expenses since the pandemic. Donna Lynne, CEO of Denver Health, told the Denver Post the amount of uncompensated or uninsured care by the hospital has roughly doubled since 2020 and about one-third of the hospital’s patients comes from outside of Denver necessitating financial support from the state. Joint Budget Committee Chair Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, an Arvada Democrat, said the hospital had roughly 80 days of cash on hand as of early February.