Headlines June 4, 2020

Headlines June 4, 2020

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Several hundred people gathered in downtown Denver today for a memorial service for George Floyd. Congressman Joe Neguse joined Denver Mayor

Michael Hancock and other elected officials for the service which concluded with a tree being planted in honor of Floyd who died at the hands of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.

The shingle oak was planted at Civic Center Park. Mayor Hancock said the tree was being planted because they want it to always stand erect, tall, even taller than the six-foot-seven inch George Floyd.

The family of De’Von Bailey, the 19-year-old black teen who was shot and killed by Colorado Springs police last year, today filed a civil rights lawsuit against the police department.

The lawsuit alleges that the Colorado Springs Police Department violated De’Von Bailey’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when he was killed on Aug. 3, 2019.

9 News reports that a grand jury declined to file charges against the officers who shot Bailey last year, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigations also said they would not prosecute them.

At the time the district attorney said the officers in Bailey’s death were cleared based on their belief that he was armed, as well as under the fleeing felon statute.

Bailey was shot in the back by police as he was running away, the suit said he was running to simply escape from police. The lawsuit says that multiple witnesses to the shooting confirm that Mr. Bailey never looked back towards the officers as he ran, and never made any threatening gesture or motion that suggested he was going to turn towards them.

U.S. Senate candidate John Hickenlooper refused to comply with a subpoena Thursday morning, so the Colorado Attorney General’s Office will enforce the subpoena by forcing Hickenlooper’s testimony.

Hickenlooper was scheduled to testify via video conferencing before the state’s Independent Ethics Commission about his alleged violations of Colorado’s gift ban.

Hickenlooper is accused of violating the Colorado Constitution’s ban on gifts when he accepted private jet flights from wealthy friends and businesses as governor. He feels that he is innocent and accused the Public Trust Institute of playing politics with Colorado ethics laws.

Melissa Miller, a spokeswoman for Hickenlooper, said they are opposing the motion to enforce the subpoena because they feel that video conferencing doesn’t work in this type of legal proceeding but he would testify in person. Hickenlooper said he refused to appear because it would violate his due process rights.

Hickenlooper will face Andrew Romanoff in a Democratic primary June 30. The winner will take on Sen. Cory Gardner in November.

 

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On Wednesday Denver Mayor Michael Hancock walked arm in arm with protesters who had gathered for a 7th day of action calling for an end to police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

The Denver Post reports that Hancock received a mostly warm reception from the crowd which numbered in the thousands.

One of the speakers called out Governor Jared Polis for not attending any of the protests. The Governor said earlier that he supports the peaceful protests but was not attending in person due to concerns over COVID-19.

Kwon Atlas, an aide to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, addressed the crowd and spoke about his own experiences of racism growing up black. He promised the crowd that “cops are going to start getting fired.”

Public Safety Director Murphy Robinson later tweeted that “The Denver Police Department is working tirelessly to make sure our demonstrations are safe and accessible to all who want to join. It is not the job of the mayor’s aides nor do they have the authority to decide who gets disciplined in the department of public safety.”

Crowds gathered in other Colorado cities on Wednesday. At the event in Longmont, a man was arrested for threatening peaceful protestors with a hatchet. About 30 people had gathered downtown in solidarity with the protests happening around the country. The Times Call reports that the man was arrested on suspicion of felony menacing, inciting a riot and criminal mischief.

A first vote on the new state budget cleared the House along party lines on Wednesday. While Democrats voted in favor of the bill, they said they were frustrated with being forced to make drastic cuts in the budget.

The state is looking at a $3.3 billion shortfall due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

K -12 education will see cuts of nearly 10% while higher education could see much higher cuts, as much as 25%.

The Denver Post reports that Republicans proposed dozens of amendments such as to sex education and the state’s civil rights commission.
The budget now moves to the Senate.

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