Headlines – September 26, 2023

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Denver Homeless Sweep

Police in Denver are relocating about seventy people living at an encampment at 

Eighth Avenue and Logan Street, near the Governor’s mansion today. 

The sweep is part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s initiative to get a thousand homeless people off the streets and into housing by the end of the year.

Officials notified the affected people last week, according to the Denver Gazette. Many spent yesterday packing their things and loading them onto a bus. City officials have offered shelter to some at an undisclosed hotel. 

A city spokesperson said they are trying to get as many people as possible lined up with a place to go. The reasons given for the cleanup are, “deteriorating conditions, including trash, human waste, discarded needles, and unidentified “encumbrances” that are blocking the public’s right of way.

 

Denver City Council Homeless Spending

On Monday, council leaders approved several resolutions dedicated to providing additional funds to certain organizations as well as approving the first reading of a bill that would allocate $15.7 million towards the acquisition of the Best Western Hotel at 4595 Quebec Street. The 194-unit property is already set to operate as a non-congregate shelter until the property is converted into supportive housing.

The remaining money approved goes towards existing contracts with some of the city’s homelessness outreach groups, including Denver Rescue Mission.

Monday’s resolution amends the Denver Rescue Mission’s existing contract with the city.

Organizations like Family Promise of Greater Denver, Salvation Army, Urban Peak Denver, and Volunteers of America Colorado were also awarded additional funding from the city.

Other measures that are still being considered for funding include providing $6.4 million to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless towards encampment resolution outreach. However, the council postponed hearing this item until the next council meeting.

 

Elijah McClain Update

Testimony is scheduled to resume today in the trial of two police officers charged in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and second-degree assault.

Prosecutors say the officers only stopped 23-year-old Elijah McClain as he walked home from a convenience store, because of 911 calls of a “sketchy” person in the area.

In the confrontation that followed, McClain was put in a carotid hold, before paramedics arrived and administered a sedative. He died several days later.

A third officer will be tried separately next month. The two paramedics will be tried together in November.

Christian Glass Plea Deal

Two former Clear Creek deputies charged in the death of a Boulder man have until November 2nd to decide whether to take a plea deal.

The two are under indictment for the fatal shooting of Christian Glass in June of 2022. Details of the plea deal have not been made public.

Former Deputy Andrew Buen is charged with second-degree murder, official misconduct, and reckless endangerment for shooting Glass. 

Kyle Gould is charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. He was not at the scene but gave the order to use force to get Glass from his car.

Glass called 911 after his car got stuck on a boulder in Silver Plume. Once the deputies arrived he seemed to be in a mental crisis, and would not come out of the car. The deputies resorted to force after about an hour. Glass was shot in the chest five times.

The Glass family was awarded 19 million dollars in a settlement this summer.

 

Colorado 2024 Ballot And 14th Amendment

In a court filing yesterday, Trump’s attorneys argued that the lawsuit aimed at keeping the former president off of the Colorado ballot should be dismissed.

Lawsuit advocates are citing a 14th Amendment clause prohibiting anyone from running for office if they have taken part in an insurrection. They say Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss to Joe Biden in 2020 –meet the standard —since they led to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

But a Trump attorney says the lawsuit is a violation of the former President’s First Amendment right to free speech. 

His attorney also says the suit should be dismissed because Trump is not officially a candidate under Colorado’s election law.

Some are calling the case the most important in a series of 14th Amendment challenges to the former president’s candidacy.

District Judge Sarah B. Wallace has scheduled a hearing for October 13th on the motion to dismiss. A hearing on the constitutional issues is scheduled for October 30th.

Last week, Judge Wallace agreed to a protective order for witnesses and others involved in the suit, due to the ex-president’s history of what she called “inflammatory” statements, in other cases in which he is a defendant.

 

Capitol Rioter Sentenced

Meantime another Capitol rioter has been sentenced to prison, for actions in Washington on January 6, 2021.

Rodney Milstreed is from Maryland but was arrested in Colorado last year. He pled guilty to several charges, including assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon, and received five years. At his sentencing Friday, an officer he injured called him a domestic terrorist and a traitor.

 

CO Abortion Reversal Ban Likely To Stand

Colorado’s new law banning “abortion reversal treatment” appears likely to remain the law in the aftermath of three state boards declining to designate the procedure an accepted medical practice.

State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year that said abortion reversal was not an accepted standard of practice. The bill included language that said if the state’s medical board, nursing board, and pharmacy board all agreed that it was an accepted standard of practice, and did so by October 1st, it would remain legal.

None of those boards have come to that conclusion, deciding instead to review abortion reversal on a case-by-case basis.

While a reversal by any of the three boards is possible, none has a meeting scheduled before the October 1st deadline.

 

10K Coloradans Mistakenly Cut Off From Medicare

More than ten thousand people in Colorado were cut off of Medicaid, even though they were eligible.

Colorado and other states began removing people from their Medicaid rolls last spring. It was the first time they’d done so in three years, because of the pandemic, when states that kept people covered received extra federal money.

Now the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing says 10,044 people were mistakenly removed because the agency thought they made too much money.

A spokesperson says the state is working to get them reinstated.

 

More Denver E-bike Rebates Today

Another round of e-bike vouchers for Denver residents becomes available today.

The limited rebates program begins at eleven o’clock this morning. There are standard rebates, income-qualified rebates, and adaptive rebates for people with disabilities.

City officials expect the vouchers to be snapped up quickly. More rebates will be available on November 28th.

For today’s round, go to Denver Climate Rebates.com at 11 a.m.

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