Headlines – September 25, 2023 Ivonne Olivas
Elijah McClain Trial Update
The trial of two Aurora police officers charged in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain resumes this week.
On Friday, the jury saw police bodycam video of the fatal confrontation between McClain and the officers.
The 23-year-old massage therapist was walking home from a convenience store when two officers responding to a 911 call about a “sketchy” person stopped him. McClain was wearing a runner’s mask, which covered his face below his eyes, because his anemic condition made him cold, according to relatives.
In response to the officers’ body footage, a lung physician testified that McClain’s breathing became increasingly labored after the police put him into a chokehold. Dr. David Beuther said he believed McClain, who threw up several times while being held onto the ground, urgently needed care before medics arrived and administered him a large dose of a sedative into his arm.
Defense attorneys have blamed medics for McClain’s cardiac arrest and subsequent death.
According to The Associated Press, Elijah’s mother, Sheneen McClain, temporarily left the courtroom sobbing after the videos were shown.
Later, McClain told reporters she wanted people to know her son was a real person, saying “knowing everything that Elijah went through gets me here everyday.”
Colorado Homeowners Affected By Wildfires Offered Tax Refund
Colorado homeowners who are rebuilding or repairing homes damaged by a wildfire disaster will be eligible for a tax refund.
The state’s Department of Revenue’s Sales Use Tax Exemption Wildfire Disaster Construction Act makes State Sales and Use-taxes refundable for both building materials and home repairs related to wildfires between the start of 2020 and the end of 2022.
The Act covers declared wildfire disasters, which includes the 2020 Calwood and Lefthand Fires as well as the 2021 Marshall Fire.
More information and application forms can be found at the Colorado Department of Revenue’s website.
Online Document Says CU Boulder Forced Out Female Professors Of Color
An online document denounces CU Boulder for “driving out” four female faculty.
Two graduate students in the School of Education, wrote an online document that outlines harassment, bullying, and public attacks against the four professors of color who had to leave their jobs this summer. They found parallels in treatment after analyzing interviews with the former female faculty. The professors have not been identified.
According to the Daily Camera, the School of Education Dean, Kathy Schultz, affirmed the four female professors of color resigned in August. She gave no comment on the reasons they left. The Dean also acknowledged CU Boulder’s long history of racism while affirming that the University is “taking steps” towards fostering an antiracist environment.
The online document states that by summer 2023, the four female faculty of color had resigned from their jobs due to intentional removal shown as “microaggressions, everyday violence, gossip, and surveillance.”
Johnston, DeGette, Announce Federal Grant To Assist Homeless Youth
The City of Denver will receive over 2-and-a-half million dollars in federal grants towards addressing youth homelessness. Mayor Mike Johnston and U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado announced the funding last week.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, or YHDP, is providing the funding. Grant money will help support various housing programs within selected communities.
Grassroots Movement To Halt Denver Crime Spike
Denver City Councilman Chris Hinds held a special-invitation Zoom meeting Friday with officials and business representatives to talk about how to reduce crime.
A report by The Denver Gazette says a letter sent by city residents and business members sought a response from council members to address what they described as concerns over safety that are “daily, if not hourly.”
A mass shooting that occurred on Market Street on Saturday, Sep. 16, helped spur the conversation, according to the newspaper.
That evening, five people were injured when a woman randomly shot them after being refused entry to a bar because of her fake I.D.
The online meeting included Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas, three members of the Denver City Council, representatives of the offices of Mayor Mike Johnston and D.A. Beth McCann as well as neighborhood associations, and local businesses.
Erie Librarian Paid $250K In Groundbreaking Settlement
The High Plains Library District agreed Friday to pay an Erie Community librarian a $250,000 dollar settlement for allegedly firing her after she criticized their decision to remove LGBTQ and anti-racist programming.
The library district’s Board of Trustees’ new policies forced librarian, Brooky Parks, to cancel programs two years ago. The library deemed titles like the “Read Woke Book Club” too polarizing.
According to Denver 7, Brooky Parks wanted to create programs for teens that would build compassion. In addition to the settlement, the library district will create a review committee that will give librarians a say in programming. Parks’ attorney says the settlement may be the first of its kind in the country for a librarian fired in relation to civil rights content.