Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

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.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Protesters demand resignation of Denver safety manager - The Denver Post

Protesters demand resignation of Denver safety manager - The Denver Post

Just outside the walls of the new jail where inmate Marvin Booker was killed July 9, more than 200 people gathered Sunday to pray and demand justice for his death.

Topping their list of five demands is for Denver Safety Manager Ron Perea to resign or be fired by Mayor John Hickenlooper.

In a telephone interview, Perea repeated his statement that he will not resign.

Perea did, however, act Sunday on one of the protesters' demands by temporarily suspending the use of "carotid restraint" — the so-called sleeper hold — which was used on Booker.

The suspension is in place pending a review of use-of-force policies, said Gary Wilson, undersheriff and director of Corrections.

The Denver coroner said Friday that Booker's death at the jail was a homicide.

"We will not allow Marvin L. Booker's death to be in vain," said Timothy Tyler, pastor of Shorter Community African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Tyler organized the protest at the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Facility with other community churches.

"They hurt one of ours, and it doesn't stop here," said Alvertis Simmons, a civil-rights activist. "We got a fight on our hands."

Those who spoke during the rally said they are offended by Perea's and Hickenlooper's lack of action.

Perea has refused to "either suspend or fire rogue officers," Tyler said.

"He continues to defend the actions of a few to the detriment of the entire community," he added.

Booker, 56, was being processed on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia when he was restrained after disobeying an order to not retrieve his shoes from a chair.

He was shocked with a Taser, placed in a sleeper hold and held to the floor as jail deputies piled on top of him.

Five jail employees are now on paid administrative leave.

Tyler said Hickenlooper is also defending Perea's actions.

"The mayor stated that Mr. Ron Perea was new to this job," Tyler said.

The group Sunday also demanded that Hickenlooper reach out to the Booker family to show concern for the death.

Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown said numerous contacts by the Denver Police Department's victim's assistance office and the city attorney's office have been made with the Booker family.

Brown also confirmed that Hickenlooper is still not considering firing Perea.

"We hear the community's concerns, and we share in the frustrations, but investigations for starters have to run their course," Brown said.

Tyler also asked officials to release the video of Booker's beating to the public and the family, and for officers involved in the jail death to be fired, disciplined and charged, if necessary.

"It's too premature to say the deputies in this case should be fired, and that's a decision for the manager of safety to make," Brown said.

Organizers of the protest said they will continue to speak out until the changes are made.

"We will be back," Tyler said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I must give these people protesting this murder much credit. They prove themselves to be courageous and stand firm in getting rid of some bad seed in law. Mr. Booker didn't have to die. This article fails to mention that two witnesses saw the deputies(?) high five and laugh as they walked away from Mr. Booker as he lay on the cell floor.

I suggest Mayor Hickenlooper explain himself if he wants the rallying of the public on his side this November. I, for one, thought Mr. Hickenlooper was 'the guy' for criminal justice reform.

I hope to hear an explanation soon.