I'd like to walk you through the process we've gone through for our investigation #PRONE

To review, we have found at least 107 deaths of people who died shortly after being held facedown and handcuffed.

Here are 100 of their faces.

1/ Image
Like many investigations, this one started with another.

Last year, I started looking into the 2018 death of David Baker.

Baker, a Navy veteran, died shortly after several Aurora police officers pinned him to the ground after a violent confrontation.

2/ Image
According to the coroner's report, Baker died of "restraint asphyxia"

He died, in essence, because he couldn't breathe enough air in and out of his body.

3/ Image
For more than a year, mostly in between other reports and work in the newsroom (I became a manager here late 2019), I started pouring through autopsies, federal case filings and media reports looking for other people who died while being held prone

Here's start of database

4/ Image
This was extremely labor intensive.

Cases would go in, only to go out later as I learned more about them.

Along the way, I started to learn more about cases like these

Robert Richardson of Ohio. Died in 2012.

His death led to $3.5 million settlement

5/ Image
What struck me is how easy it was to find warnings of the potential dangers of holding a handcuffed suspect prone.

In 1995, for example, officers were warned in this DOJ bulletin to, as soon as suspect is handcuffed,

"get him off his stomach"

6/ Image
Yet we found case after case where officers lingered on the backs of suspects long after they were handcuffed.

People like Michael Marshall who died in the Denver jail.

His death led to a $4.6 million settlement

7/ Image
In the middle of all of this, George Floyd's death in Minnesota gave new urgency to the investigation itself.

We teamed up with @AJInvestigates to start working the story from there.

He found a 2010 MN case that should have served as a warning…

I also started working with other reporters/producers at other @TEGNA stations as we looked for more families impacted by this

@katieawilcox @katiecmoore @JoeDanaReports @MarissaTansino @WFAAcharlotte @jptrahan @andiejudsonnews were more than willing to help

I thank them

We're going to stick on this story. It's an important one IMHO.

I do NOT believe officers are intentionally doing this, but there is evidence to suggest their training is lacking here.

Why else would someone stay on the back of someone like Roy Nelson for nearly 4 min

10/ Image
or Anton Black for even longer?

Remember, police have been warned for years to, as soon as suspect is cuffed and prone, "turn them over" and watch their level of consciousness.

Two really simple things

11/ Image
There are theories as to why this keeps happening.

I'll offer one of those tonight at 9 and 10.

One more thing. In 2014, Congress passed the Death in Custody Reporting Act

it was supposed to require local law enforcement to report quarterly ALL in-custody deaths.

12/ Image
There's just one BIG problem


yep, 6 years after members of Congress patted themselves on the back for this, the feds have yet to implement it.

Why is that a problem?

Because what I did over the course of a year could have been a lot easier had this law actually gone into effect.

I would have had a national database to start with

Instead, we had to spent MONTHS looking for these deaths.

And we still have likely undercounted by a lot

There has to be an easier way to track this.

We'll follow up on this issue in the weeks to come and provide you with a way to let your voice on the matter be heard,
In the meantime, here is part one of our investigation…


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More from @chrisvanderveen

10 Nov
TUESDAY #Covid19Colorado update

Headline: Rate of increase of hospitalizations continuing to worry hospitals and health officials.

(covid+ ONLY)

Today: 1116 (up 56 from yesterday)
Last week: 814

(We've now jumped 300+ patients in a week)


Today (7 day): 11.66%

Nearing 3500 a day average
Read 6 tweets
10 Nov

I'm at a loss... and I need someone smarter than me to help me figure this out...

Want to walk you through the @CDPHE dial dashboard for a moment.

This is what it looks like now

Green = good
Blue = ok
yellow = uh oh
orange = you got probs
red = eeks

Here's a link if you want to play along...…
Anyhoo.... so in order to come along with me on this journey... click this button
Read 11 tweets
9 Nov
MONDAY #COVID19Colorado update

Headline: Nothin new. Still headed up. Which ain't great.

(covid+ ONLY)

Today: 1060 (up 37)
Last week: 686

(***We've doubled our patients in less than 2 weeks)

#9news Image

Today (7 day): 11.47%

(one day average is knocking on the door of 13%) Image

Welp. 7 day average tops 3k Image
Read 6 tweets
28 Oct
WEDNESDAY #COVID19Colorado update

Headline: "State hits 7% positivity as hospitalizations make largest one-day jump since first week of April"

(covid+ ONLY)

Today: 596 (up 58 from yesterday)
Last week: 435

We haven't seen a jump like this in months

#9news Image

Welp. Just hit 7% today in the 7-day average

(note testing numbers down for second day in a row -- green and yellow bars) Image

When will we see a crest?

Not today. That's for sure. Image
Read 10 tweets
28 Oct
THREAD on mask use

Yes... I know...


Let's take a look at Adams County. Remember Adams. It's moving to Safer Level 3 today because of, in part, high incidence rates.
Adams is clearly having a problem with cases. More so than Arapahoe (red) and Douglas (blue)

This comes from TriCounty Health
I think the simplistic thought might be...

well... maybe they're not wearing masks enough...

BUT... fortunately for the purposes of this thread, TriCounty has spent weeks analyzing mask use by trying to count, observationally, mask use.

This is going to get a bit messy.
Read 10 tweets
27 Oct
TUESDAY #COVID19Colorado Update

Headline: "Ok. Let's all take a breath now. Been a big day."

(covid+ ONLY)

Today: 538 (up 25 from yesterday)
Last week: 417


Nearing that 7%... At this rate, we'll top it on 7-day average by end of week

Today: 6.77%

(at start of October we were still in the 3.4% range)

Now averaging (on 7 day) more than 1400 a day

(before this most latest wave, we hadn't seen more than half of that)
Read 7 tweets

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