Colorado News Roundup: Denver police to collect data on race; CDOT introduces Spanish-language program (08.07.16)
Here’s what’s going on around Colorado today:
DENVER POLICE TO COLLECT RACIAL INFORMATION ON CONTACTS
DENVER — Denver police will begin collecting racial information about the people they contact following recent protests and complaints about a lack of accountability.
Chief Robert White said it’s difficult to determine if racial profiling is an issue without the facts.
“Officers need to know and citizens need to know how everyone’s actions are going to be held accountable,” White said in an interview with The Denver Post. “Without it, we can’t prove anything one way or the other. That does not benefit the transparency or the credibility of the department.”
Community activists rejected claims by authorities it would be too time-consuming or too expensive to collect information on traffic or pedestrian stops.
“If DPD was willing to collect demographic data all along, why was there a litany of voices from community groups, legislators, the Denver auditor and independent monitor all pushing for them to collect it?” said Lisa Calderone, co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum’s Denver chapter. “Because DPD refused to collect it.”
During a state legislative committee meeting in 2015, large departments in Colorado, including Colorado Springs and Aurora, said they did not collect information on the race and ethnicity of people contacted by police.
Stephanie O’Malley, executive director of Denver’s safety department, said previously that asking people about their race could potentially turn otherwise peaceful interactions into volatile situations. O’Malley said she has since changed her mind.
Among groups that have demanded that Denver police study racial profiling are Black Lives Matter 5280, the Colorado Latino Forum, The Denver Justice Project, the NAACP’s Denver chapter, the ACLU of Colorado and Showing Up for Racial Justice.
The groups said blacks, Latinos and Native American are stopped and searched at disproportionate rates to white people.
4 PEOPLE SHOT, 2 KILLED IN ADAMS COUNTY SHOOTING
ARVADA, Colo. — Authorities say two people have been arrested after four people were shot and two of them died early Sunday.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office says there is no danger to the community.
The shootings happened at the Berkeley Village Mobile Home Park, near Arvada.
There was no information about what led up to the shootings, which occurred just after midnight.
Authorities say the two suspects are being held for investigation of first-degree murder with extreme indifference.
CDOT LAUNCHES SPANISH-LANGUAGE PROGRAM
DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation is launching a Spanish-language campaign aimed at reducing impaired driving.
Department spokesman Sam Cole says it is part of an effort to reach Colorado residents with cultural and linguistic safety messages.
The department says it wants to remind Hispanic Coloradans of the risk of DUI accidents.
The campaign message is the same as other messages: Don’t drink and drive, designate a sober driver and allow friends to intervene if someone tries to drive while impaired.
— The Associated Press
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