Thursday, September 26, 2019

Local Dems call for Gov. Polis town hall meeting on police shooting

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 12:42 PM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2019-09-26_at_12.35.51_pm.png
UPDATE:
El Paso County Democratic Party Chair Electra Johnson issued this statement over the weekend after the earlier press release was sent by another officer:
As the Chair of the El Paso County Democratic Party, it is my duty to provide oversight of all matters which involve the party. On Wednesday, Sept 26th, a press release was provided to media outlets which wrongfully represented the Executive Officers of the party.

This letter serves as a retraction of that press release. The original press release was made without the consent or approval of the officers to whom the statement was attributed. This misstep by one of our officers is deeply regretful. It has, however, provided an opportunity for the party to articulate a fully inclusive position on a highly sensitive matter which demands honesty, integrity, and transparency. If ever a time exists for political parties to be honest, exercise integrity, and provide transparency, that time is now and the El Paso County Democratic Party embraces it.


——————-ORIGINAL POST 12:42 P.M. THURSDAY, SEPT. 26, 2019—————————

The El Paso County Democratic Party has called for Gov. Jared Polis to hold a town hall meeting in Colorado Springs about the Aug. 3 officer-involved shooting of De'Von Bailey.

For background on this case, go here.

We've asked the state party to respond and will update when we hear something.

Here's the letter:

Sept. 15, 2019

Dear Honorable Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll,

This letter is sent to express an urgent need for the Colorado Democratic Party to live its values at a truly grassroots level. The Colorado Springs community has asked the Democratic Party's help to demand justice following the police shooting death of De'Von Bailey. Local organizers let it be known our Party's involvement is crucial for both life and safety as well as the health of our local democracy. The work of the community following the tragic death of De'Von Bailey is the work of our party. We must do our part as Democrats.
click to enlarge Gov. Jared Polis during a 2017 campaign stop in Colorado Springs. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Gov. Jared Polis during a 2017 campaign stop in Colorado Springs.
This letter asks a very specific request:

The Colorado Democratic Party should utilize our ties to Democratic Governor Jared Polis to request he host a town hall as soon possible in Colorado Springs regarding the police shooting death of De'Von Bailey. Ultimately, the community desires Governor Polis appoint a special prosecutor in this case and issue an executive order for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to carry out a special investigation of De'Von Bailey's death.

To the frustration of many community members, it appears as if government officials have passed the buck regarding the authority to pursue an impartial investigation here. It would seem the buck now ultimately rests with the Governor. Also, disturbing to the community are the reports that an officer involved in this shooting death, and other violent force incidents, has no available Colorado Springs Police Department internal records. We do a grave disservice to our Party and our community should we fail to recognize the frailty of voters' trust in our own local governments. We must intervene in this dangerous dynamic.

Governor Polis should know that without a town hall for follow through, many Colorado Springs voters have told us his statement on Bailey's death will be viewed as nothing more than the political pandering our party is so often accused of when it comes to people of color. Moreover, Bailey died from bullet wounds. The impact of gun violence festers throughout our nation. Colorado knows this wound profoundly.

The Colorado Democratic Party's genuine commitment and care toward the community regarding this tragedy is important to continue to build trust. Equally crucial, affecting this situation could set an important precedent shifting the arc of justice in our own community toward progress.

Thank you for your prompt consideration of this matter.

Respectfully,
The Executive Officers of the El Paso County Democratic Party

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