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Friend notes the car rally to defund the police. Asks them to stop: She's on board with their message, but it's "stressing" her dogs out.
This is the message I got from Riley Mancuso: "I am acting as a spokesperson for a group of concerned civilians. Tonight during the Boulder City Council virtual meeting, we will be doing a car caravan and making noise around Boulder to show our support ...
...for defunding, disarming, and taking steps to disband the Boulder Police Department, immediately, in 2020, without waiting for the next budget."
Seems like a good way to transition into legislative update on police reform with city lobbyist Carl Castillo.
SB 217 for police reform was approved with one vote short of unanimity in Colorado Senate today. House will take it up tmrw. Castillo says we expect passage this week:…
Here's the bill text itself:
Bill requires cops to have body cameras and activate them. Footage will have to be public within 21 days after complaint of misconduct.
Bill also "creates an inference of misconduct" if body cams aren't on when misconduct is alleged, Castillo says.
Also prohibits projectiles being "indiscriminately discharged" into crowds, along with "chemical agents without adequate warning."
Bans chokeholds
And requires officer intervention if another officer is using unnecessary or inappropriate force
This is all RE: Castillo, btw. I haven't read the bill myself.
A bill has been introduced at the federal level, Castillo says. Staff is looking into that.
Brockett moves that council support the state-level bill.
Young seconds.
Unanimous support for that.
Moving onto police oversight discussion. Presentation here:…
Aimee Kane, the city's equity program manager, is up now. She's been working with the task force and implementation team.
Gonna share this link again if you want to read the background. I might not type it all in this thread:…
Locally, police oversight work was sparked when Naropa student Zayd Atkinson was confronted by cops while picking up trash outside his Boulder home. That was in March 2019.
But, as Kane notes, there has long been a history in the U.S. of negative encounters with PoC and police, even without cell phone footage to back up claims of misconduct.
A task force was launched in 2019 to research various models of police oversight to replace the Professional Standards Review Panel (PSRP), founded in 93
12 members: 6 civilians, 6 police officers
They settled on the auditor/monitor model which will involve hiring a full-time Independent Police Monitor to review investigations of misconduct and research policies that need reform.

That person will work in the Municipal Building, not in the police dept.
That staffer will sit on a 13-member Police Oversight Panel along with 11 community members and one police dept representative
An explanation of what types of misconduct we're talking about to get reviewed. Class 1 violations are allegations of serious misconduct including: acceptance of bribe or gratuity , commission of a crime, controlled substance violations, intoxicated on duty, excessive force ....
... and misuse of police powers
Council voted to OK new oversight model in October.
Some members of the task force stayed on to serve on the implementation team. Basically prepping the city to set up the new system.
The language of this presentation is such boring local gov't speak for such an important and hot-button topic. But that's how it works.
Kane: We've heard from community members of late as to why it's taking so long to create change. It usually takes 18 months to 2 yrs just to research and implement a model.
"We started this work in March of 2019 and it's been a long journey with ppl of vastly different life experiences," Kane says. "This work is steeped in centuries of racial oppression. ... This is about changing our culture."
Implementation team will provide time for police union to review new system before it gets brought to council for review and adoption. (Sept study session, November public hearing/vote)
Young: To what extend will the police oversight panel conduct outreach to the community?
Kane: The intention is to absolutely reach out to community and build relationships.
Council also paid for a data scientist who, I think, will eventually work across all city dept but for now is focused on police data.
Young: Will there be a community event to meet the candidates through an open house?
Kane: Yes. We're figuring out what that looks like bc of the pandemic.
Brockett asking for clarification around timing. When will it all be up and running?
I should clarify that the tweet before last was about the community getting a chance to vet/weigh in on the hire for auditor/monitor.
Pam Davis tackling Brockett's q about timing. Lots of words; haven't really heard an answer yet.
Some time in 2021. May take "months" to appoint the oversight panel.
Brockett challenges that. Why couldn't it be quicker?
Davis: The current thinking around filling that is forming a selection committee with reps from different community groups.
"I'm anticipating there being some time delay between when we're truly seating folks," Davis says.

Kane: "Things always take a little longer than we hope. It's just being realistic."
Brockett: OK. We need to first select the ppl to select the panelists.
Wallach: What will be their authority to take real action on complaints?
Kane: Monitor will review that investigation within the police dept. That investigation will then move to the police oversight panel, which can make a recommendation for discipline. That will go to the chief.
Weaver: "There's a need for speed here."
Someone please photoshop Sassy Sam Weaver into the Top Gun movie poster.
Weaver: We do need to move quickly but it's also critical to get the right ppl on the panel. So it's a balance.
Chief Maris Herold presenting now. Her slides are in the link I shared earlier.
Forgot to say this, but Brautigam also revealed yesterday that Boulder has not purchased any surplus military equipment under the federal program.
That doesn't mean they don't have tear gas and other things, tho.
Herold: "My warning is this work is very complex, it has to be comprehensive and the work we're about to begin in Boulder has to become the fabric of the police department."
"What is being demanded ... nationally ... fits into each one of these categories" (of her reform plan), Herold says. "We need to change policing."
Talking about the need for data and tech to flag at-risk behavior of police officers for their supervisors, so they can stop it.
"Hardly any of the training police are involved in is evidence based." Herold says.
Herold: They are constantly doing new training but "The evidence does not support the money and resource going into these trainings."
In Cincy, "we were very successful at understanding where diverse candidates fall out" of the hiring process. Once we ID those places, we can fix them, Herold says.
Use of force and crime strategy are the two most important areas for reform, Harold says. But often overlooked.
Crime strategy is "by far" the most overlooked nationally. "This is engaging in an ethical crime-fighting strategy that involves collaboration with the community. That strategy has to be evidence-based."
Talking use of force: The traditional model teaches cops "as someone escalates, they escalate. ... It's been devastating in policing for 30 years."
"There has not been many innovations in the last 15 yrs in policing," Herold says. But there is a new use of force model that is evidence based. "We should all jump on this bandwagon."
It centers the sanctity of human life.
It's from the U.K.
"It does not go up and down on a continuum. It's a constant evolving of logic in a circle that revolves around the sanctity of all human life. ... That may sound like semantics, .. but it's extremely important if you're a police officer."
Herold: When I was in Cincy, my commander used to say always "make sure you and your partner make it home tonight."

That's being said to officers all over the country.
Herold: SWAT messing, tho, is this: Make sure we do not lose one life in this incident.
"That completely changes the paradigm."
U.K. has a lot of incidents of armed encounters, Herold says, but they rarely end up in deaths. "They all rely on time, distance and this value of we will not allow anybody to die."
It's from U.K., Herold says, but they stole it from U.S. SWAT forces, who rarely have deaths.

(I will fact check that)
Here's one of the slides showing the two use-of-force models:
"Police have got to stop relying on traditional" methods of enforcement, Herold says. Everything they do has to be evidence based."
It works in cities. Idk why it hasn't been adopted nationally, Herold says.
Herold: "Boulder PD has the capacity to engage each and every one of these successfully. I just need your support to ensure they all happen."
Weaver: "I think you'll find you have the support of city leadership on making whatever progress you can."
Yates: Will you check in with council/community periodically as you make these changes?
Herold: That's the only way I envision this working.
Friend asks what type of military gear Boulder PD has and how much they are spending on it.
Herold: Obviously we have SWAT team capacity, obviously we have tear gas, pepper ball, rifles.

"I look to these resources not as military. Police were never designed as invading military. You know how I feel about that."
"Unfortunately" sometimes we need them. Active shooters, cars driving into crowds...

"We would be at a completely disadvantage without these resources."
The idea is to have policies around how they are used, Herold says. Ideally, I will be the decision maker for when those get used.
We have this gear bc they are out-gunned by private citizens, she says. Thousand and thousands of rounds.

"It would be counter-productive for me to say we'd use these ....during civil unrest in crowd control," Herold says. But for these other things, we need them.
"I don't want them as part of the police dept but it is an absolutely needed resource."
Friend talked about response to Atkinson and gear involved. Young asked about that.

Herold: I'm reviewing all the policies. It will take time, but I will look at them all and they will be model policies.
Everything will be transparent unless they impact operations, Herold says.

"That's the only way we get to community trust. There would be very few exceptions of investigative protocols that would not be public."
Weaver asks about surplus military gear. Is it true that we have none?
Brautigam: "As far as I know, it's true."
Weaver: If you learn differently, it might be useful for us to hear.
On an email I was copied on, it looks like Boulder did get some cold weather gloves, knee/arm pads, tourniquets (for no $$) and then 24K rounds of ammo that they did pay for, under the 1033 program.

I will confirm.
Joseph: I appreciate your presentation but it lacks in concrete steps of how we're going to get there.
Joseph has asked that Boulder PD not hire officers who have been fired from other dept or have serious misconduct in their record, or have resigned during an investigation on misconduct.
Herold: "During the recruitment process, that would eliminate candidates. ... I would not be interested in hiring that person and I would not hire that person." (With misconduct in their background)
Joseph: Would Boulder PD be willing to make such a pledge?
Herold: Yes.
I do think we have at least one officer who resigned from Denver amid allegations of excessive force....
Joseph: Is there an opportunity to have some officers not carry weapons? Either on the Mall or interacting with the homeless or similar?
Herold: State law requires it. But we can have ppl in the dept that do work who don't need to carry weapons.
"We live in a society with a lot of guns." By state law and definition, police officers carry weapons. But that doesn't mean we don't have ppl co-responding who don't: mental health, welfare, homeless, etc.
"It's shifting responsibility to ppl in the community who own the problem more than the police do. ... In my world, this is where police fall so short. They take on all the responsibility and try to use all the tools they're rained in, which is enforcement."
Herold: That's where the harm comes in, bc police are not the experts in some of these things. We should be working with ppl who are.
Joseph: "That would be a good step forward."
Herold: "The closer the police get back to their roots, which is on-foot, very visible to the community, being part of their community ... the better we are."
"The way I look at is the way the fathers who created policing look at it: Ambassadors. Ppl who are part of the community," Herold says.

"I like police officers on foot, on bikes, on segueways, bc it does make community feel safer."
History of policing here. Turns out while some were established to catch runaway slaves, before that, they were community volunteers including night watches (in the North, at least). Just regular ppl looking out for neighbors.…
I hope those are the roots Herold is talking about. Seems likely, given everything else she has said.
Herold (in response to Joseph q): This dept doesn't have an early warning system or discipline matrix. "We don't have that benchmark, that baseline."
A good system will "red-flag behavior when it becomes a pattern," Herold says. "The disciplinary matrix will ... get to that issue of police officers engaged in a pattern of behavior. ... I'll be very proactive when I see patterns of behavior that are not desirable."
"And I will intervene."
Joseph: Ppl are thinking about the "big things" like de-militarizing the police. But "a lot of times it's the little things" like this discipline and warning system that will make the difference "and keep good officers on the streets."
Joseph: I think most officers go in with good intentions and then "turn bad." Do we have psychological evaluations?
Herold: We overlook officer wellness. They think they are tough and can handle things, but they can't. "They suffer just like anyone else who has trauma."
Herold: Boulder has very low % of complaints. And it's not unusual that departments don't have disciplinary matrices, unless they've been forced into it by bad behavior.
"I don't want the community to think we have a bunch of issues," Herold says.
Joseph touching on how few officers live in Boulder.
Then asked something about police vehicles and removing tinted windows. Herold said earlier she supports that.
Brautigam saying when we purchase a new vehicle, we could make sure it doesn't have tint, or we can pay to replace all the windows.
Young: How long will it take for the PD to get accredited?
Herold: 18 mos.-2.5 yrs. "It's an arduous process."
Young: You also mentioned changing the mission. What would that entail?
Herold: I would bring in a facilitator and have a "robust" process. "We'd need to understand what exactly we're trying to do here."
Brautigam: This budget includes $$ for the police master plan. We carried that over from last year bc we knew we would have a new chief. A mission and values will be part of the master plan discussion.
Young: It would involve the community, then?
Herold: Absolutely.
Young: You've mentioned data and evidence. How do you examine the bias in the machine tools?
Herold: Smarter ppl than me have flags triggering to tell you when the data is or is not solid. I'd have to pass that q to the data scientist.
"That would be out of my master's degree on data science," Herold says.
Herold: That's why it's important to partner with academics. "I'll be asking for help ... so we don't run afoul of having bad datasets and so forth."
Wallach: "I'm more confident than ever that you're the right person to lead the Boulder police dept."

Asks for more specific on what functions the police dept might pass onto others.
Herold: "There's a saying, Who owns the crime?"
I'm interested in "pulling levers" with property owners the make sure their "lack" of engagement doesn't lead to opportunities for crime.

It's called placed-based policing.
For eexample, she says: If a store redefines its front so it's not providing opportunities for ppl to shoplift, "that's everything we're looking for. We don't have to involve" law enforcement and police aren't spending taxpayer $$ going there all the time.
Wallach asks about use of force in the U.K.
Herold: "We're a very gun-driven society in America." In the U.K., police deal with blunt objects and knives. "It's a rare event" to have deadly force. Their training is entirely different.
Apparently CU's police are trained in the newer, U.K.-based model, according to Herold.
Young said the "defund parade" just passed her house. It was outside Brockett's earlier and Friend's before that. Are they going to all the council member's homes? (Their addresses are public record)
Friend talking about the police dept roots: It was to collect taxes but also to hunt down slaves.

"The roots of policing aren't happy go lucky ppl who are out chumming around in the neighborhood." This conversation is about changing a "system that is rooted in racism."
Let's not get lost in the weeds of de-tinting windows, Friend says.
"As city council we need to take some ownership of this issue," Friend says. "Chief Herold has done a nice job... next level" of stepping in. But "it can't be one person's" decision to do police reform.
References Minneapolis defunding the police.
She has two pages of notes.
Brockett thanks Joseph for the ideas she brought forward, and also Friend for pointing out we need to approach this systemically.
Brockett: I would appreciate looking into how our code around criminal justice "is working well and not so well."
Joseph responding: You can have grand ideas but if you don't have concrete steps, at the end of the day "you're just selling dreams. We're not in the business of selling dreams."
Some shade at Friend. Council getting spicy.
Joseph: I don't think we can discount little things. They need to happen in order for big change.
Young asking Friend what she disagrees with in Herold's plan. How is that not broad reform?
Wallach also "pushing back" on Friend. Some of Joseph's ideas he likes, some not. Doesn't want to "ignore" any of the little changes "for a grand purpose. We will get to the grand purpose in due course."
Brockett: I don't disagree with where Chief Herold is going at all. I meant by broad that we look at ordinances, laws AND policies and procedures.
Friend: "My point is not that any of these ideas are unsavory. I just don't think we are the right ppl to be in the weeds .... it's better if experts are doing that."
For example: Joseph's point about police living in the community. The data is "mixed" as to whether that improves policing.
Friend: "The notion of we'll get to the bigger stuff: When, if that's not the discussion tonight."
Friend: I don't have concerns with Herold's proposals. "My concern is having one person who is in the police dept pushing that work." She's unlikely to push for defunding the police, say.
"For this size of an issue, we need to engage a really strong pool of experts, one of which obviously is Maris."
"If we baby step, we're not going to make the transformation that is needed," Friend says.
Friend: "This council needs to weigh in on how big we're going to think on this issue and what steps" we're going to take.
Joseph: I agree with some of the things Friend said. Not everybody. "I understand you work in criminal justice. ... The people you read about in books, I am one of them. I live that life. I am a black woman."
To tell me I'm getting in the weeds, Joseph says, "I think that was offensive and rude."
Friend: My concern is not personal with anyone. It's the level of these conversations and where I they should be going.
Swetlik: "We're set up better than any city I can think of to make changes" at this time in history.

Swetlik listing evidence for that claim:
We've signed onto the racial equity pledge
We're looking at our budget holistically
We're developing a police master plan
We have a new police chief who is "clearly open to challenging norms"
"All of those things have aligned into this moment," Swetlik says. "There's room for all of the things we're trying to accomplish right now. That includes the small things."
Swetlik: "There's no better time and opportunity to go top to bottom on this. ... Council needs to be deeply involved in this process."
His "small idea" is not allowing off-duty officers to be hired for private jobs, but while still in their Boulder PD uniform and car. This came up around BI, Inc. and monitoring immigrants.
"I have no problem with officers doing whatever they want in their free time. But if they look like an officer" while not actually working for the city, "I have a problem with that," Swetlik says.
Joseph: "I'm done with this issue." It's v emotional and personal to me as a black person. And I have privileges, including being well known.
Friend: "I appreciate this is an extraordinarily difficult subject. I agree we should be doing everything we can as fast as we can to make this better."
Weaver: "There couldn't be a more important thing for us to take up."
Weaver: We have changes in the works with our new police oversight system. I think it's important "not to derail those" with other proposed "fixes" to the system.
Lethal force can and has been used in our community by police officers, Weaver says. "It's entangled with structural racism. ... We can't solve that in a vacuum. One of the points it intersects with ppl's live is in policing."
"These are processes. They don't happen overnight. There are a-ha moments." ... The death of George Floyd can be one of those.

"I think in wicked problems ... require a two-pronged approach."
Weaver: "You can't just look at the big picture and you can't just look from the bottom up at little things. You have to do both at the same time."
"We have to be patient and we have to be disciplined. That doesn't mean the urgency isn't there. ... We need to acknowledge these will be tough problems. They may be 2 steps forward and 1 step back."
Weaver: On my time as a volunteer firefighter, I saw lots of police officers. Some good, some not so good. Most of them are good. They are risking their lives.
"This issue is complex not just in the policy realm. Ppl are involved. We need to respect that many good police officers would not have done what the officer in Minneapolis did, which killed a person."
The officers who are doing this work need the right training. If we could get rid of all the weapons in our society, it would be a different conversation, Weaver says. But we have as many guns as ppl in this country.
Friend: I'm concerned we're closing and we haven't decided as a council to take any steps.
"If it's discretionary with the police dept .... I don't get it."
Weaver: Would you like to lead us there? Do you have a proposal?
Yes, Friend says.
Make police reform part of our workplan and create a committee or workgroup with members of council "on par with how we work through other big issues."
Young quoting someone from a protest this weekend. "Do this not bc you hate the police but bc you love black ppl."

Disagrees with Friend that "we don't have a plan." We do: budget, racial equity, police oversight, master plan...
"I think that we are taking many, many steps," Young says. "Perhaps the result will take some time to bear fruit, but I think we're taking the right steps."
Swetlik asks when police master plan work starts
Brautigam: Chief Herold has been here 7 weeks and is attending almost every city council meeting now.

Work is supposed to start in the fall.
Herold send a 13-point action plan for reform. Council could endorse that later this year, Brautigam suggests
Swetlik: I agree with Friend that before we "tackle this in full force" later in the year, what are we going to do to prevent unnecessary deaths or violence from our police dept?
Chief Herold saying this: Two things I can do quickly. I can change our use-of-force policy and our investigation process. I can't do training bc we're in a pandemic.

I can also work on the crime strategy.
Herold: The entire action plan will take probably 2 yrs. "I'm just under a strange time in history where there's a pandemic and I can't get outside help" with training.
But "everything I can do in the meantime, I promise you I've already started" meaningful action, Herold says. "I hope you'll be patient with me. ... Making sure the police understand why we're doing this is so important."
Brockett likes Brautigam's suggestion of endorsing the chief's plan.
Weaver to Friend: If we want to organize a group to pull this work together and maybe go beyond, "I think that's worthy of further conversation"
A final thank-you from Weaver to council, police chief, community. "We invite your continued input. If it could not be form letters, that would be great."

Asks specifically for ideas on what kind of group council could put together.
"These are big, hard problems. We have to address them bc they are a matter of life and death," Weaver says in closing.

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