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Colorado Edition: Discussing Disparities

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San Miguel County Department of Health and Environment

Today on Colorado Edition: We speak to the head of the Denver Black Police Officer’s organization about recent protests and police reform legislation. We also explore COVID-19 healthcare disparities, and hear from some of the government agencies speaking out against environmental actions taken by the Trump administration. Plus, we take a look at one of the education programs cut from this year’s state budget.

Police Reform Legislation And Recent Protests

In response to weeks of protests against police brutality, state lawmakers have given final approval to reforms that will mandate the use of body cameras and create new transparency requirements for law enforcement. The measure also bans chokeholds and requires officers to intervene if one of their peers is using inappropriate force. 

To discuss this legislation and the recent protests, we spoke with Sergeant Carla Havard. She is supervisor of the Citywide Impact Team for the City of Denver, and president of the Denver Black Police Officer’s Organization.

COVID-19 Disparities

Black and Hispanic Coloradans have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in terms of case and death numbers, according to state data. To learn more about why COVID-19 is impacting these communities more in Colorado, we spoke with Tanya Sorrell, an associate professor in the college of nursing at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Government Agencies Voice Environmental Concerns

Earlier this month, various departments in Colorado’s state government, including transportation, public health and environment, and natural resources, released a statement expressing concern over environmental actions the Trump administration has taken. KUNC’s Luke Runyon has been following this and joined us with the latest.

One Program Affected By Colorado Budget Cuts

Due to the economic fallout from COVID-19, the Colorado state government has had to cut $3 billion from its budget. One of the many cuts was to a program geared at helping students transition from middle school to high school. That program is the subject of Erica Breunlin’s recent reporting for the Colorado Sun. She joined us to discuss her story, which you can read here.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • "Our Only Uplift" by Holyoke

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast of the previous evening's show Tuesday through Friday at 8:30 a.m.

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Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.