Reader: D.A. May should step aside 


In February 2018, Deputy Micah Flick lost his life during the takedown of suspected car thief Manuel Zetina. The suspect also lost his life and three other law enforcement officers and a civilian were injured in this joint operation involving the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Springs Police Department. I am truly sorry for Deputy Flick's widow, Rachael, and their children. As a community we all grieve. But it's time for the truth to come out. The truth won't come out until politics and politicians step aside.

Standing in the way of the truth are: Sheriff Bill Elder and Police Chief Pete Carey, who refuse to release the report of investigation; County Coroner Robert Bux who seeks to block release of the autopsy results; and District Attorney Dan May, who has yet to issue a finding of whether the shooting was justified.

As reported by the Indy [The Wire, July 12], Dr. Robert Bux wants to keep the autopsy results sealed for several reasons, chief among which is the privacy of Mrs. Flick and her children. Most deaths expose some loved one to public scrutiny during the grieving process. That rarely trumps the public interest.

In the case of Rachael Flick, she placed herself in the public domain several times during her grieving to talk about her husband's death. On some occasions, she has even rallied behind Sheriff Elder and publicly endorsed him, citing her husband's death, thereby entering the arena of politics. That she may be harmed by release of the autopsy reports is a much less compelling argument in light of her own public appearances.

Legitimate questions have surfaced about how Sheriff Elder conducted himself following the shooting. He made statements right after the incident about how the operation was conducted, which have been disputed by eyewitnesses. His credibility is in doubt.

Dan May should not have any responsibility over this matter and he must recuse himself. He not only has endorsed Elder for re-election, but he nominated Elder at the March 2018 El Paso County GOP General Assembly and took part in radio advertisements for the Elder campaign. He cannot be in a position to judge Elder's leadership and accountability after demonstrating unmistakable political bias in Elder's favor. Even if his review of the shooting investigation were to genuinely show Elder and EPSO did nothing wrong, doubt will remain.

Dan May owes it to the taxpayers, voters and citizens of El Paso County to hand oversight of the Flick shooting incident off to another jurisdiction.

— John Holt

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