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.
Three former Arvada police officers who were charged criminally in an excessive force case Wednesday have acted in legally questionable ways in the past, prompting the city to pay out $430,000 in lawsuit settlements the past two years.
Officer Charles Humphrey, 31, allegedly punched a handcuffed Kelly Etheridge, 27, in the face during an arrest in January, after Etheridge spit on him. Other officers helped cover it up, according to the charges against them.
"I just went to spit and he walked right into it, claiming I spit on him on purpose, which was an accident," Etheridge said. "He turned me around like that and -bam- hit me in the face and then slammed me into the cop car, while I was handcuffed."
Humphrey was charged with four misdemeanors: third-degree assault, failure in duty to report use of force by a peace officer, first-degree official misconduct and false reporting. All the counts are misdemeanors.
Whitney Bauma, 29, and Noah Rolfing, 28, were each charged with three misdemeanors: failure in duty to report use of force by a peace officer, official misconduct and false reporting..
Other officers allegedly did not report Humphrey's punch. Instead they said Etheridge's injuries were from a fight with his girlfriend, which was why police had been called.
City officials said today they have paid out two lawsuits "related to some of the officers in question" in the Etheridge case.
In 2008 several Arvada officers were accused of illegal entry and excessive force in response to a noise complaint. The city settled out of court for $100,000.
Last year, the city paid out $330,000 after officers entered an apartment looking for a suspect, then forced another man staying there into a hospital after he provided nonsensical, uncooperative answers to their questions, according to the suit.