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Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2014, 06:29 PM
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Prosecutor in I-70 Truck Driver Case Brags Online About Brake Trophy

While close to 4.5 million people have signed on to a Change.org petition seeking clemency for truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, who was recently sentenced in Jefferson County to 110 years in prison, those who prosecuted the case are responding much differently.

"Get yourself a trial partner as great as Trevor Moritzky. He turned a brake shoe from a semi truck into a memento. What a special gift from truly a special person," Kayla Wildeman, a prosecutor with the District Attorney's Office for the First Judicial District who was involved in the case, wrote on Facebook above a photo that shows a brake next to a diploma. "I sure am grateful this trial brought you into my career as both a colleague and a friend! Words will never convey how lucky I am to have gotten the opportunity to learn from you!"

According to the Facebook post, Moritzky, a deputy district attorney in the First Judicial District, gifted colleague Wildeman, also a deputy district attorney, a brake similar to one taken out of the truck that Aguilera-Mederos crashed on I-70 near Colorado Mills Parkway in April 2019.

The crash resulted in four deaths: 24-year-old Denver resident Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano; Doyle Harrison, a 61-year-old from Hudson; 67-year-old Arvadan William Bailey; and Stanley Politano, a 69-year-old who was also from Arva

Prosecutors threw the book at Aguilera-Mederos, who was convicted on 27 out of 41 charges stemming from the crash. The 110-year sentence came as a result of mandatory sentencing rules, which state lawmakers are already talking about reforming, owing to what they see as an egregious over-sentencing of Aguilera-Mederos.

Much of the argument in court revolved around whether Aguilera-Mederos was at fault for a crash that occurred after the brakes on his truck failed.

The brake trophy display on Facebook includes Wildeman's name, the case number and "I-70 Case."

"It is not a piece of evidence from the case. The post was in very poor taste and does not reflect the values of my administration. We have addressed it internally," says Alexis King, district attorney for the First Judicial District. King's predecessor, Peter Weir, was in charge of the office when charges were originally filed against Aguilera-Medero.

Given his judgment in awarding the trophy to a colleague, some members of the legal community wonder if Moritzky was an appropriate candidate for the several vacant district court judge positions in the metro area for which he's been considered.

And the fact that a prosecutor gifted a brake pad to a colleague is evidence of deeper problems among law enforcement officials, according to Andy McNulty, a lawyer with Killmer, Lane & Newman. "It's a grotesque example of the inhumanity of our criminal injustice system. To receive a brake pad as some sort of trophy for sentencing a man to death in prison shows the complete disregard that prosecutors have for the lives they ruin, and how they view their job as some sort of game rather than an obligation to serve justice," McNulty says

The huge sentence given to Aguilera-Mederos, a Cuban immigrant, has drawn the attention of the League of United Latin American Citizens, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that calls itself the "largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States." On December 16, LULAC announced that it's "working on registering a formal complaint of gross misconduct with the Colorado Bar Association against First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King for abuse of power and official oppression under the color of law in filing charges against an innocent truck driver who was behind the wheel when his truck’s brakes failed."


No charges against Arvada police officer who shot and killed 'Good Samaritan' during attack in Olde

No charges will be filed against the Arvada Police officer who shot and killed a good Samaritan in June who police say stopped a mass shooting in the city’s Olde Town area.

Arvada Police officer Kraig Brownlow was working in a substation in Arvada’s shopping and restaurant district with two other officers when Ronald Troyke, dressed in all black and armed with an assault rifle and a shotgun, parked downtown and ambushed Arvada officer Gordon Beesley, who was out on patrol at the time.

At Troyke’s home, there was a letter he wrote about killing police officers.

After killing Beesley, Troyke continued to shoot out windows in Arvada Police vehicles.

In the early minutes after the assault, Brownlow and the other officers didn’t know that Beesley had been killed and were trying to figure out what to do from the substation, the letter said. They were concerned they weren’t wearing proper body armor and that the door to the substation wouldn’t stop AR rounds.

That’s when Johnny Hurley, 40, a concealed carry permit holder who was shopping nearby, shot and killed Troyke. He then went over to pick up Troyke’s assault rifle on the ground.

Brownlow, peering out of the substation, did not see that exchange. Instead, moments later, Hurley walked into view, holding his pistol and the rifle. Believing Hurley was part of the attack, Brownlow cracked open the door and fired three rounds, striking Hurley.

“We lost two people that day when a mass shooter brought violence to the heart of Olde Town Arvada,” said Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King. “We lost Johnny Hurley, a young man who made an incredible choice to engage on behalf of strangers.”

In justifying Brownlow’s actions, King wrote in a decision letter that the facts must be viewed as they appeared to him at the time.

“Officer Brownlow reasonably believed that the man in black was firing the weapon repeatedly, having heard at least three series of gunshots in or near the popular Olde Town square. Officer Brownlow also knew that APD vehicles had been shot,” the letter said. “It is after those observations that John Hurley appeared in view, about 180 seconds later … Brownlow did not know, and could not have known from his vantage point, of the murder of Officer Beesley or of Hurley’s role in eliminating the threat posed by the man in black.”

Hurley’s mother, Kathleen Boleyn, who has hired Siddhartha Rathod and Qusair Mohamedbhai as attorneys, issued a statement through her lawyers on Monday.

“I imagine that many people are angry and that is understandable. I would ask that instead of acting out on your anger, that you use that energy to be the change you wish to see in the world,” Boleyn said. “Engage in meaningful conversations that might make a difference in how we all may move forward together.”

The city of Arvada released its own statement praising Hurley for protecting others without thinking of his own safety, while also reiterating support for Arvada’s police department.

“This incident illustrates the nearly unfathomable decisions society asks our police officers to make as they go about their everyday work,” the statement said.

Brownlow, who had been an officer for six years inArvada at the time, is still on leave from the department.

Arvada Police spokesman Det. Snelling said that was “his choice.”

“It was a horrible event,” he wrote, in an email.

Patagonia CEO: Companies should join us in boycotting Facebook

(CNN Business)In the wake of the revelations in the Facebook Papers, Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert on Thursday called for companies to join the brand in pressuring Facebook to fix its platforms.

"We believe Facebook has a responsibility to make sure its products do no harm, and until they do, Patagonia will continue to withhold our advertising," Gellert said in a statement to CNN. "We encourage other businesses to join us in pushing Facebook to prioritize people and planet over profit."
In the summer of 2020, Patagonia joined a growing list of companies pulling ads from Facebook (FB) platforms as part of an advertiser boycott.
"Patagonia stopped all paid advertising on Facebook platforms in June 2020 because they spread hate speech and misinformation about climate change and our democracy. We continue to stand by that boycott 16 months later," Gellert said.


Denver airport security officers to go on strike Nov. 2

DENVER (KDVR) — Security officers contracted to work at Denver International Airport plan to go on strike Tuesday, Nov. 2.

The security officers work for High-risk Security Services, or HSS, and have been fighting for higher pay and better working conditions.
The union representing the workers, Law Enforcement Officers Security Unions, announced the strike Thursday in a press release.

The union said the workers reached a “breakdown” of negotiations after HSS’s “refusal to come up with one single penny” for its members.

Labor shortage leaves union workers feeling more emboldened

Union members also plan to strike on Tuesday at Denver’s Webb Municipal Building, where HSS workers provide security. It’s also a voting location, and Tuesday is Election Day.
“We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you or the voters,” the union said in a release.

The union said on Oct. 13 that 95% of its members voted in favor of the strike.

Airport security workers were in contract negotiations when Denver airport janitors staged a one-day strike on Oct. 1.


Longmont Shooting: USPS Mail Carrier Fatally Shot In Front Of Mailboxes

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Longmont police say a United States Postal Service mail carrier was shot and killed Wednesday in a neighborhood near Heatherhill Street and Renaissance Drive. Police responded to the scene, located in the southwestern part of the city, at around 12:30 p.m.

Police say the USPS employee was shot in front of some mailboxes. Investigators say a male suspect was seen running away. That suspect was reportedly last wearing dark clothing, a hooded sweatshirt and a blue mask.

Officers used a police canine to look for the suspect, but they were not successful.

Jeff Satur, deputy chief of police services with longmont police, says the suspect approached the employee and shot them multiple times. the employee died at the scene.

Police say they are searching the area and conducting neighborhood canvasses. Police issued a reverse 911 to residents and say they have not caught the suspect. Satur says police think the suspect is no longer in the area.

Police anticipated being in the area for multiple hours as part of their investigation.

David Rupert, communications manager of USPS in Colorado, says the shooting has impacted the federal agency deeply.

“You see us in your neighborhoods. we see your children grow up,” said Rupert. “We become part of your family, too.”

Grief counselors are now helping other employees. Rupert says this is an isolated incident, but had few other details about the situation.

Michael Dougherty, Boulder county’s district attorney, urged the public to talk to police if they know something about the crime or know where the suspect is.


Covid's partisan pattern is growing more extreme.

Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S., Covid has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.
With the death count rising, at least a few republicans appear to be worried about what their party and its allies have sown.
In an article this month for breitbart, the right-wing website formerly run by Steve Bannon, John Nolte argued that the partisan gap in vaccination rates was part of a liberal plot. liberals like Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Fauci and Howard Stern have tried so hard to persuade people to get vaccinated, because they know that republican voters will do the opposite of whatever they say, Nolte wrote.

His argument is certainly bizarre, given that democratic politicians have been imploring all americans to get vaccinated and many republican politicians have not. but nolte did offer a glimpse at a creeping political fear among some republicans. “right now, a countless number of trump supporters believe they are owning the left by refusing to take a lifesaving vaccine,” nolte wrote. “in a country where elections are decided on razor-thin margins, does it not benefit one side if their opponents simply drop dead?”


Britney Spears' father files to end court conservatorship

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years.

James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.”

Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move.

Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

James Spears had been the target of much of the anger surrounding the conservatorship from both his daughter and the public.

A petition from Britney Spears’ attorney to remove him was to be heard at the next hearing in the case on Sept. 29.


Stainless Steel Fragments Found in Moderna Vaccine Shots

The Japanese government has said that a batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been tainted by stainless steel.
Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced Wednesday that following an investigation by the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, a fragment of manufacturing equipment had been found in the vaccine, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The agency said that with stainless steel being a common substance used for artificial valves of the heart, it was unlikely that the contamination posed any medical risk.

A batch of Moderna was suspended in Kanagawa Prefecture after a pharmacist had discovered black particles in one vial of the vaccine, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

Last week, Japan suspended the use of about 1.63 million Moderna doses due to contamination in part of a supply batch, Reuters reported. Kyodo did not specify in which batch stainless steel had been found. Newsweek has contacted Takeda for comment.

After last week's suspension, Moderna said there were no safety or efficacy issues around the vaccine and no other incident has been reported in other countries.

Aurora Police Officer: 'I Am Leaving Colorado For ... Less Communism'

Aurora Police Officer: 'I Am Leaving Colorado For ... Less Communism'
Author: Brian Maass
May 20, 2021 at 11:16 am

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – An Aurora police officer, Daniel Bertelson, sent a department-wide email this month as he announced his retirement, offering some barbs and harsh assessments of the current climate for law enforcement.

“I am leaving Colorado for palm trees and less communism,” wrote Bertelson, who spent 16 years with the Aurora Police Department.

“Try to ignore the politicians and media,” he wrote to his colleagues. “They know nothing of this profession or honor; they’re self-serving con artists, well-dressed pimps and prostitutes at best."


As the war against police rages on in an environment where you can literally do no right,
I pray for the safety, success and happiness of each of you.”

“Never forget,” wrote Bertelson, “you are all capable of incredible things in and out of law enforcement, never lose faith in yourself.”


Caitlyn Jenner: My rich friends are leaving CA because they don't want to look at homeless people.

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