Headlines – June 27, 2023 John Kelin
New Police Video on Jor’Dell Richardson Killing
Aurora police have released five new videos of the police killing of fourteen-year-old Jor’Dell Richardson that occurred on June 1.
The videos, made public yesterday, show events from several different angles. But based on reporting by the Denver Post, they don’t seem to shed new light on the teenager’s death.
Aurora police officers chased Jor’Dell Richardson after responding to calls about threats against a convenience store employee.
Two officers pursued Richardson into an alley and tackled him to the ground. One of them shot the teenager after seeing what he said looked like a pistol. It was later revealed to be a pellet gun.
The police killing of Jor’Dell Richardson has been met with outrage from the community, and his family is demanding the resignation of the Aurora Police Chief. The case remains under investigation.
Club Q Shooter Receives Life Sentence
Anderson Lee Aldrich, the only suspect in the mass shooting that took five lives at a LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs last year, will spend life in prison for those crimes.
An El Paso County judge sentenced the shooter, responsible for the Club Q massacre, to five life sentences and more than 2,200 years in prison yesterday.
Aldrich, who was subdued and detained at the scene by Club Q patrons, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to five consecutive terms in prison without possibility of parole.
Aldrich also pleaded no contest to two counts of bias-motivated crime, which was part of the plea agreement and is similar to a guilty plea.
Survivors and members from the LGBTQ+ community filled the emotionally-charged courtroom. Some were able to talk at the podium near Aldrich, who was handcuffed, where they told stories of their experiences handling the death of loved ones.
Five people were killed and seventeen wounded in the Nov. 19, 2022 attack.
Some observers think that Aldrich, whose defense attorney says identifies as non-binary, pled guilty at the state level to avoid the death sentence at the federal level.
El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen said Aldrich could still face federal prosecution.
Active Shooter Training
First responders in Boulder are receiving active shooter training this week.
The Daily Camera says the training began at Arapahoe Ridge High School yesterday, and continues tomorrow.
Police and firefighters from Boulder, Lafayette, CU Boulder and Erie are taking part, along with members of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
The training includes lectures and simulations.
DPS Appeals Ruling Over Release of Recording
Denver Public Schools is appealing a judge’s decision requiring them to make public a recording of a closed door meeting last March, when they decided to bring armed police officers back into city schools.
The judge’s finding last week found that the board’s executive session on March 23 violated Colorado law.
The Denver Post reports that on Monday DPS appealed the judge’s order of publicly releasing a recording of the Board of Education’s five-hour, closed-door meeting the day after a student shot and wounded two administrators inside East High School. The board had approved a memo that temporarily suspended a 2020 board policy banning armed police in schools.
DPS feels that releasing the recording would do substantial injury to the public interest.”
Denver District Court Judge Andrew Luxen ordered the release of the recording to a coalition of media organizations after finding that DPS violated state law by making policy decisions behind closed doors. After listening to the recording himself, Judge Luxen also found that the board did not properly give notice of the executive session.
The news organizations that filed the lawsuit include Denver Post, Chalkbeat Colorado, Colorado Newsline, Fox 31, 9News and the Denver Gazette/Colorado Politics.
La Raza Park Designated a Historic Cultural District
The Denver City Council has approved the designation of La Raza Park as a Historic Cultural District.
The unanimous vote yesterday makes the park Denver’s third Historic Cultural District. La Raza Park is in the city’s Sunnyside neighborhood. The designation is meant to ensure its history and culture will be preserved and acknowledged.
Boulder E-bike Vouchers
Beginning on July 6, the city of Boulder will offer residents vouchers to cover part of the cost of new e-bikes.
The city is offering two types of vouchers: standard, and income-qualified.
Two hundred vouchers are available starting next week, with a second round coming in September. They can be used at participating bike shops, but not for online purchases.
Find out more on the city’s e-bike incentive page, at bouldercolorado.gov/projects/e-bike-incentives.
Boulder, Longmont Among Best for Biking
The cities of Boulder and Longmont rank among the best places for bicycles in the United States.
That’s according to the cycling advocacy group People For Bikes, which unveiled its Seventh Annual City Ratings this morning. Boulder placed #4 in the medium-sized cities category, with Longmont at #10 in that same group.
Two other Colorado cities ranked in the small cities category: Crested Butte is at #2, and Aspen is at #7.
Among the criteria used by People for Bikes are the quality of a community’s bike infrastructure, like trails and bike lanes, and the commitment of city leaders to making their communities bicycle-friendly.
Nearly 1,500 cities were considered in the rating.
A new study is underway looking at the feasibility and cost of a regional e-bike sharing system, that would cover communities from Boulder to Westminster.
The study is a collaborative effort between Commuting Solutions, Boulder BCycle, and local governments and businesses.
The proposed system would allow users to check out an e-bike in one community and return it in another. The e-bike share region would also include Erie, Lafayette, Louisville, Longmont, and Superior.
The public is invited to share opinions by filling out a survey at commutingsolutions.org/bikesharestudy.
Highway 7 Reopens
Highway 7 between Lyons and Allenspark is open to traffic again, nearly two weeks after a massive rockslide forced its closure.
The highway reopened Sunday, but the Colorado Department of Transportation made it official with a tweet yesterday morning.
Headlines – June 27, 2023 John Kelin