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Final nominees selected for Colorado Springs police accountability board

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- On Monday afternoon, Colorado Springs City Council members nominated their final selections for the Law Enforcement Transparents and Accountability Board.

The board will consist of 13 people, 11 members and 2 alternates.

The following names aren't officially on the board, but will be voted on at the next regular council meeting on September 22nd.

  • Deborah Walker, representing District 1
  • Brent Windebank, representing District 2
  • Terry Martinez, representing District 3
  • Justin Baker, representing District 4
  • Steve Kern, representing District 5
  • Kate Angulski, representing District 6

At large nominees are:

  • Dennis Moore
  • Luis Velez
  • Janice Frazier
  • Joe Aldaz
  • Rachel Flick

The two alternates are:

  • Rosita Camargo
  • Felicia Embry

City council members largely agreed on a majority of the candidates chosen for the new group. However, there were some concerns brought up when discussing two nominees: Rachel Flick, the wife of an El Paso County deputy who died in the line of duty, and Luis Velez, the former Colorado Springs and Pueblo police chief.

"We've gone through and we've gone through different phases and ultimately we've reached what I think will be a very good commission," Wayne William, councilman representing Colorado Springs at-learge explains.

Representing District 4 in Southeast Colorado Springs, councilwoman Yolanda Avila expressed concern over the choice.

"Now I'm saying that they are good people, but are they the type of people who need to be on this commission to address police force or police brutality?" she questioned.

The nominees listed won't be confirmed until the next regularly scheduled council meeting on September 22nd.

Colorado Springs / Local / Local News / Video

Krystal Story

Krystal is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Krystal here.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. Seems like Rachel and Luis are good choices. Don’t need a bunch of people totally unfamiliar with police work telling them how to do their jobs.

    1. People who marry cops are now familiar with police work? That’s a nice stretch. She was definitely unqualified for this position but we see how privilege works.

  2. “… Law Enforcement Transparents and Accountability Board.” Did you mean “Transparency”?

    The ultimate question for filling positions on this board is can the members be objective when calmly reviewing use of force in a meeting room, well after the fact, armed with information the officers may not have at the time?
    What expertise do any of the board members have?

  3. “However, there were some concerns brought up when discussing two nominees: Rachel Flick, the wife of an El Paso County deputy who died in the line of duty, and Luis Velez, the former Colorado Springs and Pueblo police chief.”

    Rachel Flick. With as much compassion and respect I have, I want to say this as honestly and unbiased as possible. Having a widowed spouse of a murdered Law Enforcement Officer on a committee that is designed to investigate “use of force” complaints against the same Department that her spouse worked for is wrong, unethical, and quite honestly atrocious to even be considered by the elected officials of the City of Colorado Springs, and CSPD.

    Every case she is a part of investigating could cause her psychological trauma caused by prior events of her life. As she is not a sworn Law Enforcement Officer, how are we not to call her previous traumas into play, she has not been trained to handle this type of compartmentalization, nor has she trained to remain as unbiased as possible. And to think that the extreme trauma she has endured did not and will not in the future affect her judgement and ability to view every case as unbiased as possible and allowing the evidence of the case make the decision is asinine. Normal human emotion would prove any person that had endured what Ms. Flick went through would be compromised and unable to remain unbiased.

    Not only is this a slap in the face to the community for placing a widow of a former CSPD officer on this panel, but the City is inadvertently slapping her in the face as well. I see why the City would want her on the panel, she will vote in line with the City and CSPD every time because of her emotional and psychological trauma she has endured. On top of that, the City and CSPD have been one of her emotional and financial supports since her spouses homicide. So would you bite the hand that feeds? I am not saying she would or would not, but the problem is her ethics have to be called into play here, She wants to be on this board, she signed up, Why? What is her ulterior motivation.

    Luis Velez. Former Chief of CSPD and Pueblo. If this panel was established as a counterbalance to how law enforcement reacts to the “Use of Force” Complaints are handled and resolved, why would you put former Law Enforcement administration on this panel in the first place? All he will do is side with the City and CSPD, every time. Adding him just verified that there will never be a unanimous vote, unless the city and CSPD want it. In essence, only if the officer is going to cost the city or agency money, or if the LEO were to testify he would have to incriminate the city and CSPD as complicitors and accomplices because of lack of training, battle fatigue, or any of the other issues that the city and CSPD are vicariously liable for. Oh yeah, further inquiry, is he still receiving financial gain from his prior employment at CSPD? How is this not a conflict of interest?

    I said it when this panel was first announced that this would only be a joke and would accomplish nothing. When I observed that the elected officials and CSPD were still in charge and this panel would have no supervisory authority, I knew this was just a dog and pony show. Now seeing who the city council has placed on this panel has only further solidified my feelings.

    This council should have the ability to speak to experts in the field, not have retired law enforcement and a widowed CSPD spouse on the panel. Juries are often advised to remain impartial and unbiased throughout the trial. I do not believe that a former CSPD chief and a widowed CSPD spouse have the ability to remain impartial and unbiased, especially when it involves active CSPD officers that were involved in “use of force” Complaints. They both have emotional ties to the personnel at CSPD, they both have financial ties to CSPD, and they are both compromised from their lives experiences.

    The initial inception of creating a board like this was a beautiful dream, and would have been amazing to see it come to a worthy fruition.

    What we have now is a watered down, City government infused and managed, rendition of the mirage of what it’s initial inception was supposed to be.

    Proving that the city turned this committee into a big waste of time that will not meet its initial goals of why it needed to be created in the first place. Which was what I believed it would turn into from the beginning. The city elected officials, the mayor, and the administration of CSPD had, and still have, the ability to fix this problem on a permanent solution. But they won’t, the real question is why?

  4. Also, Dennis Moore was Mr. Neighborhood watch man. He is the one that resigned over a dispute when a new rule stated volunteer officers were not authorized to carry a firearm.

    Janice Fraizer works for D11.

    Joe Aldaz is a program manager at Syracuse University. He appears to be getting ready to make his move to step into becoming a politician, and actively involved in several committees and councils.

  5. Graham v. Connor,490 U.S. 386 (1989)-This case sets aside the standard for determining the excessive use of force as established in the 1973 case of Johnson v. Glick, 481 F.2d 1028 (2nd Cir. 1973). If the use of force violates the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, then the standards listed in this Amendment will be used.”All claims that law enforcement officials have used excessive force – deadly or not – in the course of an arrest, investigatory stop, or other “seizure” of a free citizen are properly analyzed under the Fourth Amendment’s ‘objective reasonableness’ standard, rather than under a substantive due process standard.” In other words, was the decision of the officer reasonable based on the information he had at the time.

    “The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

    I can’t see how a board with no law enforcement experience can judge the perspective of what a reasonable officer on the scene would do? I’m sure they will have the 20/20 vision of hindsight though.

    1. “I can’t see how a board with no law enforcement experience can judge the perspective of what a reasonable officer on the scene would do?”

      Yes, that is why I said they should be able to call experts which would indicate the personnel as “perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene”. No one who is rational would want someone who Monday Night quarterbacks the call but has never been on a similar call or that exact same call.

      The answer is the exact same way a trial occurs, through testimony. Have both parties make their case to the committee. Review video surveillance, view body-cam footage, interview other witnesses that were on-scene at the time and have them testify to what they observed. Problem solved, while still in compliance with Graham v. Connor. If anything, this panel should have a representative from the 4th Judicial District either on the panel or present and able to ask inquiring questions during a hearing. Perhaps as a legal mediator.

      Great question, thank you SmarterThanYou.

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