Denver Police Shootings Go Unchallenged

In so many cases around the country and here at home in Denver, Colorado, police shootings fall under the radar and go unchallenged. While we hear of a few bigger shooting cases, many more police shootings go unreported. Maybe its because the victims were unlucky and didn’t have an eyewitness videotaping the encounter, or perhaps because video is kept under lock and seal pending an investigation.

In Denver, members of the Hispanic community are speaking up against police shootings of citizens. The Denver Police Department, in an public relations effort, is reaching out to representatives to discuss the rash of shootings. But these attempts have been a case of 2 steps forward, one step back. In March, representatives from Denver law enforcement met with the family of Latinos who have been shot and killed by police officers. The meeting was set-up as an outreach. However, family members were told that the meetings would only occur if they kept the news media in the dark and didn’t bring attorneys. So much for being transparent.

This month, members of Denver’s Latino community met with law enforcement and expressed concerns over the repeated police shootings of youth in the city.  They also expressed frustration that despite all the complaints, nothing has changed.  For example, far too many police shootings involve people who are kept from medical attention until it is too late.

For example, in 2015, police shot 17 year old Jessica Hernandez and in 2014 Ryan Ronquillo.  Both shootings were deemed justified by the Denver DA and controversy surrounds both cases.  Specially, in Ronquillo’s case, police waited for paramedics to arrive to aid the shooting victim and the lack of on scene medical attention contributed to his death.

In Denver, citizens are getting fed up with the rash of police shootings and instead of standing on the sidelines, the Latino community is taking a stand and demanding answers to tough questions.  The next step is to see if Denver’s police department starts making the necessary changes or if they continue to stonewall.