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On Sixth Day Of Protests, State Lawmakers Announce Police Reform Bill

Leigh Paterson
Crowds gather at the Colorado State Capitol on Tuesday state lawmakers announce plans to introduce a police accountability bill.

On the steps of the state Capitol, facing a crowd, Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday that they plan to introduce a bill to increase police transparency and accountability in Colorado. The legislation comes in response to protests against the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck.


“I want you all to know that your voices and your cries have been heard,” Rep. Leslie Herod (D) said. “We have family members who have been affected who have been fighting for this for years. And people have said, ‘It’s not time’.”

Rep. Herod was joined by family members who have lost loved ones after violent encounters with police.

Credit Leigh Paterson / KUNC
Natalia Marshall, holding a bullhorn, talks about her uncle, Michael Marshall, who was killed by deputies in a Denver jail in 2015.

  “I hate to say this but I know exactly how George’s family feels,” said Natalia Marshall of George Floyd’s family. Her uncle, Michael Marshall, was killed by deputies in a Denver jail in 2015. 

“Let’s put these murderers behind bars where they belong,” she said.

The new bill would change the standards for prosecuting individual police officers and prevent officers from getting a new position elsewhere after being fired.  

Hours later, a large group of protesters marched through an otherwise quiet downtown Denver, chanting and holding signs. 


“I would like not to be the next Sandra Bland. That’s what I would like,” Danielle Turner said. “I would like not to have to march. I have two brothers and two nephews. I would like not to have to cry because somebody killed them.”

Leigh Paterson
Protesters walk through downtown Denver, in the sixth night of demonstrations against the death of George Floyd.

In Denver, protests began Thursday evening. During the five nights since, the Denver Police Department says it has arrested over 300 people, mostly for curfew violations but also on other charges like weapons possession and arson.

“I would say a lot more mellowness has come out,” Denver resident Jay Sanders said after attending

Credit Leigh Paterson / KUNC
Jay Sanders wears a 'cop watcher' vest during a protest in downtown Denver.

multiple days of protests. “It’s become more of a point of justice and not just outrage.”

Sanders and others said that in marching, the main change they want is police reform. 

Earlier in the day, the Denver Police Department (DPD) fired an officer for posting an image of himself and two others with the caption, “Let’s start a riot.”

In a tweet, DPD announced Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen “wants to start a dialogue” with a virtual community meeting set for Wednesday, June 3 at 6 p.m. 


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