Ken Buck Won’t Seek Reelection; Trump DQ Hearing Continues; Woodyard Takes The Stand

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Ken Buck Won’t Seek Reelection

Colorado Representative Ken Buck has announced he will not seek reelection to the U.S. Congress.

Buck is a Republican who has represented Colorado’s sprawling 4th Congressional District since 2015. In announcing his decision yesterday, he said that “too many Republican leaders are lying to America” by claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Buck has also been at odds with his party over its scramble to replace ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. He says he received death threats for his refusal to support Congressman Jim Jordan.

He insisted that only Republicans offer the country what he called a “course correction,” but added that a steadfast commitment to truth is the only way forward.

Trump DQ Hearing Continues

Meanwhile, a hearing on a lawsuit aimed at keeping Donald Trump off the presidential ballot in Colorado next year, continues in Denver.

A specialist in political violence and extremism, who testified for the plaintiffs, told the court that during his time in office Trump deliberately forged relationships with far-right extremists, including some implicated in storming the Capitol on January 6th 2021.

The lawsuit argues that Trump’s actions leading up to that day render him ineligible to run for president, because they violated his oath of office.

Lawyers for the former president argue that the suit is anti-democratic.

Woodyard Takes The Stand

The defendant in the second criminal trial stemming from the 2019 death of Elijah McClain has taken the stand in his own defense.

Suspended Aurora Police Officer Nathan Woodyard is charged with reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

In direct examination yesterday, he testified that he was the first officer to come in contact with 23-year-old McClain, who was walking home from a convenience store. McClain had done nothing wrong, but police were responding to a 911 call from someone who described McClain as “sketchy.”

Woodyard said he was in contact with McClain for about five minutes. Asked if he would do anything different if he could go back in time, Woodyard said yes – that he would have talked to McClain more.

Two more officers arrived and the situation escalated. Woodyard said he heard one of the other officers say that McClain had grabbed Woodyard’s gun, but testified he didn’t know if that was true. He radioed for more help and then put McClain in a carotid hold.

McClain lost consciousness. The paramedics who arrived later injected him with the sedative ketamine. McClain went into cardiac arrest and died several days later.

Woodyard also testified yesterday that as the situation calmed down the night of the confrontation, he thought Elijah McClain was safe.

Prosecutors say the carotid hold led to McClain’s death. The defense says it was from the ketamine.

So far, one officer has been convicted of criminally negligent homicide. The other was acquitted. The paramedics will be tried later this month.

Nathan Woodyard’s trial continues today.

Mayors Ask Biden For Migrant Help

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston is leading a coalition of five big-city mayors seeking federal help in managing an influx of migrants to their cities. 

Denver alone is currently spending two million dollars a week to support the new arrivals.

Mayor Johnston says most of the migrants he has met want to work, and employers want to hire them. But without work authorization from the Federal Government, they cannot legally be hired.

Mayor Johnston, along with mayors of Chicago, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles, is asking the government to increase the number of people receiving work authorizations while they wait for asylum hearings. They also want the work authorizations process sped up, and $5 billion [dollars] for shelter and other services.

Group Says Women Kicked Out Of Denver Shelter

Members of a homeless advocacy group say several women have been kicked out of a Denver shelter for minor rules infractions.

The women had been living at Catholic Charities Samaritan House in Denver.

Members of Housekeys Action Network Denver, or HAND, said some of the evicted women were elderly, and were told to leave because they had too much personal property with them.

HAND posted an Instagram video of a seventy-year-old evicted woman who says she was told to leave and not return for seven days. HAND said that as many as thirty-five other women have had similar experiences.

Denver7 reports that their own investigation also found several former shelter residents with similar stories.

The city’s Department of Housing Stability told Denver7 that Catholic Charities Samaritan is “reviewing these alleged incidents, and is working directly with the participants involved, in compliance with standard practices and procedures.”

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Jackie Sedley

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