Denver Community Defense Committee’s Official Statement on “March Against Police Terror”

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via Denver Community Defense Committee

On Saturday February 14, over 300 people marched through the streets of Denver to show solidarity with families who have lost their loved ones or had their loved one’s lives threatened because of police violence.

When the March arrived at the Denver Police Headquarters, a bucket of paint was thrown by unknown March participants at a memorial to police officers who have been killed while in performance of their jobs. This single action has gained the most attention in the media, and has become a rallying call for Denver police and those who defend their actions.

We, as the members of the Denver Community Defense Committee, the organization that planned the March against Police Terror, voice our unwavering support and solidarity to all those who participated in the protests and March yesterday.

It is telling that at this moment, local media and the Denver Police Department are more offended over red paint being splashed on a piece of stone than the very real red blood that continues to stain our streets because of unchecked police violence. Although the paint was easily washed off the memorial, the scars left by police terror can never be washed away.

That a police department that stages raids to serve non-violent warrants on unarmed suspects during funerals, as was the case when police killed Ryan Ronquillo on July 2, 2014 outside the Romero Funeral Home during a funeral, would then complain about a small amount of paint on a piece of stone as “dis-honoring the dead” is beyond insulting.

That a police department that would handcuff, search, and then brutalize an already dead body as they did on January 26, 2015 after they killed 17 year old Jessie Hernandez, would denounce an act of non-violent protest as “disrespectful” is beyond sickening.

It is an act of extreme injustice that two people will face charges in court, accused of throwing paint on a piece of stone, and will face more jail time and harsher punishments than any police officer who has killed an unarmed suspect in this city. While two unarmed protesters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for an act of civil disobedience where no one was harmed, officers like Jeffrey DiManna, who has been involved in three cases of shooting unarmed suspects in the last seven months, will continue to patrol our streets without fear of any punishment whatsoever.

With these facts as the foundation for the situation we find ourselves facing within the city of Denver, how can anyone question why people would start to feel motivated to take bolder and more desperate actions against the institutions of police violence? The people of Denver have run out of cheeks to turn. We are being pushed into a corner by a system of police who murder with complete immunity, and the city officials and District Attorneys who do nothing to stem the flow of blood in our streets.

Denver Community Defense Committee
February 15, 2015
denvercommunitydefense@riseup.net

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Call in Campaign for Sharod Kindell to the District Attorney

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Photo Courtesy of Denver Westword

We are now doing the 2nd Call-in campaign for Sharod Kindell, currently being held in solitary confinement in Denver City Jail in desperate need of medical care.  This call in campaign will be on-going and not limited to just one day, this campaign is to demand answers from the D.A’s office.    We are asking for folks to call the District Attorney’s Office, and ask the following utilizing a firm though polite tone so as not to negatively impact Sharod’s legal situation.

There has also been a Rally called for at 6PM by his family, at the Denver City Jail. For more information click here. The people we will be demanding answers from today are:

Lamar Sims Chief Deputy District Attorney
720-913-9019
the email is:  sls@Denverda.org
and
Lynn Kimbrough Communications Director
720-913-9025
the email: lmk@denverda.org
Any of these questions are important to ask, please feel free to ask any/all of these questions.
Denver Police Public Officer Questions: 
What was the reason for initially establishing contact with Sharod Kindell?
What are the names of the officers involved?
What is the procedure for notifying the family in an officer related shooting?
 Why did the Police Department withheld information about Sharod’s condition from his family while he was in surgery? 
Why was the family denied information and decision making privileges for more than 48 hours after the incident? 
Why was Sharod Kindell denied detainees right to have proper treatment and given access to whomever they sign a HIPPA release form for?
 
Are the officers involved currently under investigation/cleared and or on administrative leave?
How are the officers in DPD trained when it comes to protocol in “Use of force” situations?
How was this procedure and escalation applied when it comes specifically to Sharod Kindell?
Why  has no one from this office contacted the family of Sharod Kindell  since January 9th and till present today January 30th? The family’s  information was in fact taken and a nurse contacted the family but why has no one from the agency has contacted the family?    Is “no contact” for family members a normal procedure?
 
Does  the Denver police department wish to comment on the disrespectful  comments made to the family in the emergency room, during the  cancelation of the first court appearance and all following court  appearances? 
Is it the policy of the Denver Police Department to allow officers to engage in unprofessional behaviors in court? Why are  negative attitudes towards Sharod and his family representatives and  with a blatant disregard for civility in public settings tolerated? 
Will  these complaints be investigated by the chain of command inside of the  Denver Police Department outside of independent investigations? 
Do you have anything to say to Sharod Kendell’s mother and his family? 
Sharod’s Eighth amendment rights, which are now being addressed by Denver Sheriff’s Office, were violated while under DPD jurisdiction. These rights state that a serious medical need is present whenever the failure to treat a prisoner’s condition “could result in further significant injury or the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain if not treated.” Significant injury, pain or loss of function can constitute “serious medical needs” Just in case you aren’t familiar some examples of inadequate medical care that may constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs include:
    
  • Serious denials or delay in access to medical personnel.
  • A denial of access to appropriately qualified health care personnel.
  • A failure to inquire into facts necessary to make a professional judgment.
  • A failure to carry out medical orders
  • Unjustifiable reliance on non-medical factors in making treatment decisions. (like feelings about Sharod or the conditions leading to his detention
  • Decisions so egregiously bad that they are not based on sound medical judgment.
Serious medical needs are those that are obvious to a lay person or have been diagnosed by a doctor as requiring treatment.  So saying “I am not a doctor” or deferring really doesn’t work in Sharod’s case because as a public official you also qualify as a lay person.
A condition does not need to be life-threatening to be a serious medical need. But in Sharod’s case he was infact shot 4 times and his injuries were life threatening. Pain may be a serious medical need. Is it the position of the Denver Police department that these issues were unbiasedly and timely addressed? 

Justice For Sharod Rally, 2/2 6PM

FREE SHAROD Rally at the Denver Jail 
6PM Monday Feb. 2nd (facebook event)
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After the recent tragic murder of Jesse Hernandez by the Denver Police much of the city and that nation’s attention has turned to the corrupt, violent practices of the DPD; the 2nd most violent police force in the United States.  These shootings are part of a long policy of “shoot into cars first and ask questions later” that last July took the life of Ryan Ronquillo and many others in the Denver Metro Area. The people of Denver are deeply concerned about the case of Sharod Kindell who is currently in jail on crazy trumped up charges after the Denver Police’s attempted murder of him a few weeks ago.  
Until the community began staging protests against the jail Sharod’s family was not getting any information or visitation rights. Until the protests began Sharod did not recieve proper medical care.  Now that these immediate needs have been met the family is asking for another rally and demonstration to demand the immediate release of Sharod, and at the very least a significant bail reduction so that he can be free until he is given a chance at a fair trial to prove his innocence.
For more information on Sharod click here:
Although the rally begins at 6pm, folks are encouraged to have a presence at the jail all day to demand his release.   
If you are concerned about the relentless violence of the DPD, stand with Sharod.  He is one of the few who has survived these deadly police attacks. While Sharod fights for his life it is up to those on the outside to fight for his freedom.
We will be staging another call in campaign at the family’s request to demand answers for Sharod’s family.
Demand prosecution against the police officers for the attempted murder of Sharod Kindell.
This stops now.
#FREESHAROD
#SHARODKINDELL
#BLACKLIVESMATTER

March against police terror! Justice for Jessie Hernandez, Ryan Ronquillo, and Carlos Jurado! Freedom for Sharod Kindell and Joel Jurado!

From Denver Community Defense Committee

Facebook Event

In the last seven months, Denver Police have opened fire on four cars of unarmed people, resulting in two deaths, and three people being wounded.

The most recent shooting in the North Park Hill neighborhood left 17 year old Jessie Hernandez dead. As has been a theme in these shootings, Jessie was accused of attempting to hit officers with her car. Witness testimony disputes these claims. The death of this young Mexican woman has struck a chord with many in Denver. As the family struggles with the process to bury their daughter, the struggle for justice for Jessie is just beginning.

Just several weeks prior on January 9th, Sharod Kindell was driving when he was pulled over by Denver Police in Montebello. Sharod attempted to give his identification to officers who instead demanded Sharod exit the vehicle. When we exerted his rights and refused to do so, police opened the door and struggled with Sharod. Sharod had not placed the car in park, and when his foot came off the brake, the car rolled backward. Police opened fire on Sharod as he attempted to raise his hands in the air, striking him four times. He is still in custody, awaiting trial on several felony charges stemming from the incident.

In July, 20 year old Ryan Ronquillo was killed after being shot 12 times by four DPD officers. Ryan was sitting in his parked car outside a funeral service for his best friend. Police sped into the parking lot of the funeral home, crashed their cars into his car. Moments later, Ryan would be dead.

In November, Carlos and Joel Jurado were involved in chase with police. As the chase ended in Commerce City, police surrounded the car the two brothers were in. As both of the brothers raised their hands to surrender, police claim the car lurched forward, and they opened fire into the car. Both brothers were wounded in the altercation. Carlos was released from the hospital without any charges, with his brother Joel is still in jail, awaiting trial, accused of a host of felonies.

We will march for justice for all these victims of police terror in Denver. Bring your signs, banners, drums, anger, and hope for justice as we attempt to move these struggles forward.

This demonstration is being organized with the explicit consent of the Ronquillo, Hernandez, and Kindell families. We ask that participants in this march leave their personal agendas at home and respect the anger of the families, as well as the tactical decisions of those participants involved in this action that come from the families and communities involved in these tragic shootings at the hands of Denver Police.