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Getting started with the regular meeting now. Full chambers; the signs I referenced earlier are about homeless rights. All council members are here.
Starting with a declaration in honor of the late Camera editor Kevin Kaufman. Bob Yates is presenting; Kaufman's wife and daughters are here.
Boulder still looking for applicants for its boards and commissions. Interviews start this week, I believe.
Council is getting a briefing from Chief Greg Testa on the encounter with a black resident picking up trash this weekend. dailycamera.com/news/boulder/c…
Maybe last week; apologies that I don't know the timing.
Testa: Man officers approached did nothing wrong. Internal investigation has been launched and the officer who first made contact is on administrative leave. "The contact was very concerning."
Says video circulating contained an incorrect statement; only one officer had a handgun out and it was pointed at the ground, according to body cam footage. "I'm not making excuses," he said, but providing information.
Brockett: Will results of investigation be made public?
Testa stutters a bit, but then says yes.
Report on bias among police response is being prepared now, Testa says. To be published in April. (In response to q from Brockett)
Investigation into the incident can take 60-90 days.
Three audience members are holding metal grabbers used to pick up trash (I'm assuming similar to what the gentleman who was confronted was using)
Morzel: What is the policy on an officer drawing weapon?
Testa: When officer perceives a threat. "It may not mean that they point their gun at a subject" but they are trained to remove it from their holster.
Morzel: Do they have other tools rather than a gun?
Testa: They do. Mace and other things. Hopefully they would use those tools to address a circumstance in the least invasive way.
Morzel: What's the policy for backup? One of the videos said there were 8 officers on scene?
Testa: When officer calls for backup, officers listening in "respond accordingly." "I don't want to make an assumption," but "asserts" that the response was made to the information given.
Morzel asking the same question again. How is it managed so that not every officer responds?
Testa: If there's concern about a potential weapon involved..." ppl in the audience clanking their grabbers; then Mayor Jones breaks in and asks them to quit
Weaver: Observation from video was that a shotgun also came out from a vehicle. Hope to hear a thorough explanation of that. "Biggest concern around doing something hasty is that someone would lose their life."
Questions are many: Should that contact have been made? Was there a better way to handle it? (Qs from Weaver)
Weaver asks Testa to stay for open comment when people are expected to speak on it.
Testa: Qs you raise are questions we need to find out.
Says the shotgun may have been "less lethal shotgun." "Officers are responding only to information they hear on the radio. They're making decisions based on information they hear."
They're trained to bring additional tools; one was a shield, one was a less-lethal shotgun.
Young: What's the range of potential disciplinary actions? Who decides what ultimately happens? Is there a process for learning from the incident?
Testa: Termination, suspension, demotion, transfer, letter of reprimand.
Young: Any restorative justice options included?
Testa: There can be.
In case you're wondering what a less-lethal shotgun is: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-letha…
Carlisle: I hope there would be some priority given to bringing this to conclusion as quickly as possible.
Testa: Contractually, investigations have to take 30 days, then there are extensions, etc. plus certain review deadlines.
Carlisle asks about bias training
Testa: Officers sent to "sought-after" class in Washington, D.C. by the Anti-Defamation League. Calls it an "extensive and comprehensive training."
"I don't want you to think our officers don't have any training in hate crimes. With that said, yes, I'm certainly interested in furthering the conversations and figuring out what's appropriate."
Morzel: You stated that the gentleman who was stopped did nothing wrong. Has this man been apologized to?
Testa: I've had interactions with his mother; I haven't directly talked to him yet. Our professional standards unit will be in contact.
" My plan is to have a personal conversation with him. And pretty soon."
"There has to be a learning" process, Testa says.
Weaver: It might benefit cops to chat with Human Relations Commission RE: restorative justice. What's a way that the department as a whole could participate in that process and maybe have HRC help with that?
Testa: First place I would start would be to reach out to the family and find out if they would want that.
Jones: I appreciate that you note the idea of learning from this. Transparency and communication around the outcome would be very welcome, both for the council and the community at large.
Brockett thanks the audience members who came out on this issue. "Please stay involved."
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