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.
Another member of the Arvada Police Department has resigned in connection with a case involving alleged use of excessive force.
The resignation was announced at a news conference Friday afternoon.
A total of six officers have resigned: four of them in connection with the January incident and two others as a result of separate internal personnel matters. One of the officers who resigned is one who was previously said to have been on paid administrative leave.
Susan Medina, spokeswoman for the Police Department, was unable to confirm Friday the remaining number of officers on administrative leave.
Police Chief Don Wick said one officer punched a person he was arresting, and other officers involved in the investigation lied about the incident to their supervisors or in police reports either directly or by omission.
The person who was punched received "very minor injuries," Wick said.
The investigation was prompted both by a civilian complaint and by officers who discussed the incident within the department, Wick said.
He also said improper behavior "will not be tolerated" and has asked the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office to conduct an investigation to determine whether the officers involved should be charged.
Arvada City Council members are concerned that they were not informed that the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office was investigating this case.
"Our big concern was not knowing about bringing in the Sheriff's Office from Arapahoe County," said council member Bob Dyer. "But the concern is over the communication aspect, not the quality of the investigation."
The investigation by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office began Aug. 26.
"I've always been proud of the Arvada Police Department," Dyer said. "I still feel that way."
Dyer stressed that this investigation does not mean there are numerous police brutality allegations, but instead a case of "one or two bad characters and then those that maybe tolerate things that they shouldn't."
Further details were not available because of the ongoing internal investigation and the criminal investigation. The names of the officers involved also were not being released.
Wick said investigators are still following leads and looking for witnesses to interview, but said that no audio, video or photographs captured the incident. Arvada police cars do not have dashboard cameras.
Wick said he expects the investigation may finish in about a month, and more information will be made public then.