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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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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Denver set to pay $175,000 for wrongful arrest - The Denver Post

Denver set to pay $175,000 for wrongful arrest - The Denver Post

When Amy Shroff's ex-boyfriend violated a restraining order by blocking her exit from a police station parking lot with his pickup, the Denver woman thought officers would come to her defense.

Instead, Officer Frank Spellman mistakenly arrested Shroff for violating the restraining order. She ended up spending a night in jail despite pleas that her 4-month-old needed breast milk due to a medical condition that prevented the baby from drinking formula.

Now Denver police are offering up a mea culpa, admitting the officer had no cause to arrest Shroff. And the city of Denver is poised to pay $175,000 to settle a federal wrongful arrest lawsuit.

"This is a reasonable settlement under the circumstances," said City Attorney David Fine in a prepared statement.

The Police Department says the restraining order was not reciprocal and did not prevent Shroff from having any contact with her ex-boyfriend, as the police officer interpreted.

Instead, the restraining order strictly prohibited the former boyfriend from having contact with her, and Shroff should have been considered the protected one, a representative of the Police Department later said in sworn testimony.

"This case is an absolute outrage, and the citizens of Denver should storm City Hall in a torch-light parade demanding accountability," said Shroff's lawyer, David Lane.

Spellman could not be reached for comment. In sworn testimony, he said the former boyfriend had contended that Shroff was stalking him, an accusation she adamantly denied.

Prosecutors dismissed the criminal charge of violating a restraining order within three days of Shroff's arrest. But the dismissal did not occur until after Shroff, a management consultant, spent a night in jail and her baby became ill from drinking formula, her lawsuit states.

Shroff declined to comment for this story, but her lawsuit gave the following account:

On Feb. 23, 2006, she was going to drop off her daughter with the child's paternal grandparents so she could spend time with her father.

On the way to the police station exchange point, Shroff spotted the truck of the father, Greg Kruse, parked outside the Campus Lounge at 10:55 a.m. She knew he had a drinking problem and took a photograph to show the court as proof.

Shroff proceeded to the District 3 police station and was confronted by Kruse there. She contends that under the restraining order, only Kruse's parents were allowed to show up there. As she was trying to leave the police station parking lot, the former boyfriend used his truck to block her exit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No surprise here, CO is notorious for further victimizing plainiffs in domestic violence matters. They prosecute simply to #1-enhance their own resumes & #2-collect the fines/fees associated with the worthless "classes" they order the defendants to attend. The matter will never see resolution as long as the primary problem isn't addressed.