Denver Justice Project will typically have several campaigns running concurrently as part of an effort to tackle an entrenched and difficult issue from multiple fronts. Below you may see what we are currently working on and how best to get involved.
In 2016, Denver Justice Project took a lead in proposing an amendment that would solidify the Office of the Independent Monitor in the Denver city charter. We decided to take this on as a way to implement changes suggested by an independent consulting firm that the city hired to improve safety in the Denver jails. The Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) is the only form of independent oversight that Denver has for law enforcement, however it previously existed as a city ordinance which means that it could be dissolved easily by the Mayor and city council. Our group worked with city council to add the issue to the November 2016 ballot and it passed unanimously through council and the city voted overwhelmingly to support Amendment 2B.
Now that the OIM is in the city charter (which is like the city’s constitution), it will take a vote of the people to remove the office. We are currently working on our next step to improve civilian oversight by strengthening the OIM with a city ordinance that would give more power to the office and create measures to create accountability for law enforcement.
District Attorney Teach-Ins
The District Attorney is one of the most influential individuals who contribute to mass incarceration and police accountability. The DA is responsible for charging police officers in cases of brutality, something that happens rarely in the United States, and is responsible for charging average citizens, which leads to mass incarceration. The Denver DA is the highest-paid elected official in Colorado and for years, the previous District Attorney, Mitch Morrissey has consistently proven that he would not charge officers in cases of brutality. Our group brought unprecedented attention to the position of the District Attorney, first through our effort to recall Morrissey, and then through teach-ins held across the Denver area and forums featuring the four candidates for Denver DA in 2016.
Part of our efforts aim to educate the community about the power and dynamics of the district attorney’s office and the role they play in police brutality, law enforcement accountability, mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, and general criminalization and disenfranchisement of our community members. Now that Beth McCann has been elected as Denver’s new District Attorney, we plan to do everything possible to hold her accountable and ensure she doesn’t repeat Mitch Morrissey’s devastating legacy.
Email email@example.com to schedule a teach-in.
Know Your Rights Training
Because of seemingly imminent interaction with law enforcement, especially in cases of protest or direct action, it’s important for community to know their rights when engaging with police. Denver Justice Project is also active with efforts to equip the community with Know Your Rights training to make sure that individuals are prepared to navigate interactions with law enforcement to the best possible outcome. Feel free to visit our Know Your Rights resource page and download our booklet that covers some of the basics.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a Know Your Rights training with our group.