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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Activist Arrested, Complains About Police

An anti-war and police brutality activist is alleging the Denver Police Department unlawfully entered his home Friday night and used excessive force to arrest him for no reason.

Larry Hales , 30, said about five officers barged into his apartment at about 10:30 p.m. looking for a recent parolee who was staying with him and his girlfriend.

Hales had agreed to unannounced searches when he took the parolee in, Hales said, but only by the man's parole officer and only when the man was home, which he wasn't at the time.

The man, whom Hales did not identify, had allegedly been shot in the back by Denver police in 2004 while visiting a friend's home because he fit the description of a suspect, Hales said.

The man was on parole at the time of the shooting and was put back in jail because there were drugs at the friend's home.

The officers refused to give Hales their business cards, which he said Denver police must do by law when asked, barged into his house, and "ransacked the place," Hales said.

"I don't know what their motivation was," Hales said. "Maybe they weren't looking for me, but they ... sure were gunning for the parolee. Maybe they thought the could kill two birds with one stone."

When he tried to close his apartment door so his cats wouldn't get out, Hales said, several officers forced Hales to the ground, handcuffed him and pushed him into a squad car with his shirt torn open and no shoes.

"They threw me around like I was a ragdoll," Hales said. "When I asked one of the cops why they were doing this, he just smiled at me and said they could do alot more."

Hales was arrested on suspicion of interfering with police authority and was released on a $500 bond Saturday.

Hales has been arrested before on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and harassment by telephone, also a misdemeanor.

Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said he could not comment on the alleged incident because he didn't know about it but said if Hales felt he had been wrongfully treated, he could file a complaint with the police Internal Affairs Bureau or the Office of the Independent Monitor.

Hales said he would not seek legal action against the police department but wanted the charge dropped and the officers involved to be suspended.

The Denver Post

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