DENVER — Denver's Citizen Oversight Board is frustrated after getting a briefing on the police shooting at 20th and Larimer last month that injured six innocent bystanders.
“I know the board itself is frustrated this event happened,” chair Julia Richman said.
The board was brief Friday and admits the process is not at the speed the public wants.
“These proceedings are often also very slow and, I think, incredibly frustrating to the community. We as a board wished that they were more quickly resolved,” Richman said. “And I think there is work that we can do there to ensure that these things don't get dragged out for many, many years. There’s no accountability, and people who are harmed don't have any closure on that.”
Board members say they are closely tracking the incident, but in a way, their hands are tied until the criminal investigation into the officers' actions is complete.
“I asked a question of the executive director of safety last week about if these really need to be sequential processes, as opposed to parallel processes, just so that the community can feel like more work is being done on these sort of critical incidents,” Richman said.
The board can review whether Denver officers responded appropriately, look at failures in training, protocol, and cultural issues.
Richman said this case highlights the need for an independent monitor to oversee investigations and complaints into Denver police and sheriff’s department. The position has been open since Nov. 2020.
The Citizen Oversight Board is still accepting applications as it looks for the right fit for Denver.
“An office without its leader, you know, does start to feel like it's missing something. And the board is very eager to fill that role,” Richman said.
The Denver Police Department has said it will release body camera video of the shooting on Tuesday, August 16 as the public seeks answers.