Moving on: An update on the death of Jessica Aldama. City isn't even using her name.... the update is really about the privacy rules that prevent information from being released.
Jessica and her baby, to clarify.
This is being referred to as "the recent death of an unhoused woman."
"The report came in originally about 1 deceased individual in a tent," NRV reads. "Subsequently the officers discovered there were 2 bodies in the tent" one a woman, the other a baby.

Coroner determining cause of death.
"Boulder officers were familiar with the woman who died. We've been asked by the family to not share any further details about the mother and the baby," NRV says.
"We know the lack of detail ... is frustrating," NRV says.
Sandra Llanes, interim city attorney, picking up the thread of legal constraints on sharing info.
Actually Jeanne Banghart from the county is going to go first, then Llanes.
Banghart: "I'm here today bc of the v tricky and oftentimes v frustrating issue of confidentiality" for those who use social services. "Colorado laws are v strict."
Restrictions include county adults protection services and benefit/subsidy records, Banghart says. "These laws are scattered across" city codes, legal statutes, etc.
"There's a really good reason for these strict confidentiality rules," Banghart says. There's "great stigma" on those who receive social services and benefits. That's why confidentiality laws exist.
"It's to prevent ppl from not wanting to get social services and report others who need those services," Banghart says. "If details were available to the public, those disclosures create a disincentive."
Banghart: "Confidentiality laws also encourage members of the public to report concerns of suspected abuse of children or at-risk adults."
Calling out one law in particular: County dept are required to apply confidentiality laws equally. Violating those "is serious. They can result in criminal prosecution" for ppl requesting information or the agency releasing it.
Well, that's chilling, as a requester of information. Didn't realize asking for info was a criminal act. Not sure how it could be.
Banghart: BoCo does have a local child fatality review team, to ID prevention recommendations regarding child fatalities. They do have access to these records.
They create a report after child deaths "to find out if there are any means by which any child fatalities can be prevented," Banghart says.
Brockett: Thanks for that. One of my qs was if ppl would be looking into ways to prevent a similar tragedy.
Brockett: When the death was first announced, there was no mention of a newborn. Was that required by state laws? Why didn't that happen?
Banghart: The laws I'm talking about are what services people have received.
Llanes: I'm going to be talking about the criminal justice records act. That will address your question.
Llanes: Colorado law governs records kept by Boulder PD. It allows more discretion than the state's general records act. It allows cops to withhold records that are not "official action" if releasing them would be contrary to public interest.
These records are more sensitive in nature and include more personal info that could negatively impact individuals if released, or impact integrity of an investigation.
A custodian first determines if a record is official (and therefore public) or not.
Llanes: Family of Jessica Aldama has requested that her records be kept confidential.
All requests for information to the police, of which there have been several, have been denied, Llanes says.
Brockett: My q stands. It's not about release of records, but why Jessica's death was reported but not the newborns.
Llanes: I don't have personal knowledge of why that was not released, however I would imagine that balancing test would have weighed in favor of not releasing so as not to compromise the investigation.
Brockett: Maybe we can get some followup info on that...?
Banghart: "There is one matter to follow up on. ... Once info is released, it can't be taken back. So I do think that sometimes, in generalities, entities tend to err on the side of caution, not knowing yet if it's going to be important for an investigation or not."
"If information is released prematurely, they could be in violation of a statute," Banghart says.
Young: How is information filtered to get to the appropriate hands that can determine and ID the gaps in service that are ID'd through this incident?
Banghart: It goes back to the local child fatality review team that has specific requirements in place as far as what records they obtain from which sources (police, human services, coroner's, hospital records). They evaluate how the fatality may have been prevented.
And they report and make recommendations to public agencies who are responsible for the welfare of children, Banghart says.
They're "investigated in a systematic, careful way" with all info needed, "as opposed to just having some information," Banghart says.
Young: What about adults? An adult died here, too. Who reviews those fatalities?
Llanes: "I think it really comes back to the criminal justice records act. There's info that can't be released when an investigation is ongoing."
Llanes: The coroner's office, autopsy reports are public, but even those are restricted as to what can be released. And other confidentiality requirements related to HIPAA.
Young: What if some of that confidential info provides insight into how you can improve services or where there are big gaps? How does that get out?

Llanes: "It's a delicate balance."
Llanes: "There's no good answer to your question. We have to abide by the confidentiality laws that are in place."
Llanes: More info may be released when the investigation is finished.
Weaver: Can we get confidential memos? We're trying to find what's actionable, to find what the gaps are and how to use the events to fill in the gaps?
"How do we find the systemic problems without betraying confidentiality?" Weaver asks.
NRV: We're continuing to talk with HHS partners to figure that out.
Young: What process exists to improve on/change the confidentiality laws themselves? Does that go to the state leg?
Friend: I notice that ppl are avoiding saying Jessica's name. I assume that's out of respect for the family, but I'd like to say her first name and home that's OK. Condolences to the family.
Friend: This feels a bit to me like we're circling around a question of transparency vs. equity. I'm hearing explanations, but I also feel like if there's a stabbing we get that info out pretty quickly. We don't circle around the privacy considerations.
When there's crime or an unhoused person as a perpetrator, Friend says, we don't seem to have the same concerns for privacy. "I'm struggling to make sense of why this is such a disparate situation."
NRV: "I appreciate the struggle."
NRV: This is more akin to a medical call or suicide or drug overdose. We don't put out info on those, like we do on active criminal investigations.
Kurt Firnhaber: "One of the real purposes that HSBC was set up" was to id gaps in the system. "While we won't necessarily look at individual situations, we look at trends."
"There's many gaps that are out there," Firnhaber says. "The purpose of HSBC is to identify them, change our programs over time and start new ones."
Friend: Our police blotter isn't online anymore. I'm concerned we don't have as much info available as we used to. When did that get taken down? Is it going back up?
NRV: My understanding is that prior to 2020, police dept. had a blotter that many ppl could access and input. So there was a lack of consistency. It was extremely manual, and did not include all calls. There was discretion involved.
NRV: In 2020, it was significantly changed. From that process, it was determined that all calls should be reported. It's hosted on the city's data dashboard.
"It was an effort to increase transparency," NRV says. The blotter was flawed and therefore eliminated.
Friend: Is there any narrative to that? Or just data?
NRV: I believe data. Anyone could request more information on calls, which the city attorney would of course review.
Friend: Idk if it's data and no narrative, I'm not sure that's an increase in transparency. This situation seems like it was an accidental release of information that we wouldn't otherwise have.
And... that's it for this update.
Few questions, less information.
@threadreaderapp please unroll. Thank you.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Shay Castle

Shay Castle Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @shayshinecastle

10 Nov
Joseph is leaving early, so she's kicking us off by saying goodbye to outgoing council members Weaver, Young, Swetlik and Nagle.

They're gonna spend an hour-plus on this. I'm not gonna tweet much, bc I have little patience for ass-kissing.
Although to be fair, spending 8 years on council (Weaver, Young) may warrant a little ass-kissing.
I'll still listen, tho. Maybe someone will surprise me and give a spicy goodbye speech.
Read 15 tweets
10 Nov
COVID briefing. Things are bad and have only been getting worse. Presentation:…
Oh no! Dr. Chris Urbina, my fave local public health official, has retired.

Good for him. He will be missed.
Never thought I'd be the type of person to have a fave local public health official, but that's what beat reporting will do to you, I guess.
Read 60 tweets
10 Nov
Hey, #Boulder. It's Tuesday, and the last meeting of this city council. I know you're all heartbroken about that.

They're in person, but I'm still remote. I hear Swetlik will be wearing a suit.
What have we got tonight? Not much. A whole hour(!) scheduled to honor outgoing council members Weaver, Young, Swetlik, Nagle. Some discussion of a new council email system.
The big items are the COVID update, of course (Hint: It's real bad) and an update on the recent deaths of Jessica Aldama and her baby. That will likely consist of the city explaining why they aren't telling anyone anything.
Read 7 tweets
27 Oct
Ugh. I want to tweet this Xcel update even less than I wanted to tweet the Rez public hearing.

Staff presentation:…
Basically it's just an update on all the work that's been done, and will be done coming up.
Top 3:
Community Advisory Panel will recommend projects for Xcel/city to partner on by mid-2022
First undergrounding project (paid by Xcel) underway on north Broadway; second will be 29th street
Read 17 tweets
27 Oct
God we still have more to do. A newly added item: A raise for municipal judge Linda Cooke.
Reminder: Council hires and approves the salary for the city manager, city attorney and municipal judge. Typically every year they are given performance evaluations and merit raises.
That didn't happen in 2020 (COVID) and the city attorney and manager were replaced. So Cooke is still at 2019 salary.
Read 10 tweets
27 Oct
This one will prob be more exciting. It's a rule change — which Planning Board was unanimously opposed to — to automatically allow restaurants in 3 city parks: Valmont, Boulder Rez and Flatirons Golf Course.
You'll recall (or maybe not — hopefully you have a life, unlike me) that this all started bc of the Boulder Rez Drama.
Read 114 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!