The question is simple enough. Does the state of Colorado suffer from excessive police brutality or misconduct? As is so with most controversial topics, it depends upon who you ask.
Members of state law enforcement agencies might say excessive use of force is not an issue in Colorado. However, alleged victims of misconduct or brutality would likely tell a different tale.
What do the statistics say?
Unfortunately, our state government restricts public access to police misconduct records, but that will change soon. In 2023, the criminal justice reform bill, SB 20-2017, will go into effect, making police misconduct records available for public review.
In the meantime, we must look elsewhere for data regarding police brutality and misconduct in Colorado. According to PoliceScoreCard.org, Denver area departments scored a 49% rating overall. Below, we will examine some of the site’s brutality and misconduct stats for Denver police departments:
- Area police scored a low 29% for using deadly force during arrests, leaving much room for improvement.
- Denver officers allegedly killed more unarmed individuals per arrest than 37% of other police departments.
- Officers in our region used more force for each arrest than 23% of other departments.
- Local departments scored a low 31% for their accountability, upholding 53% of misconduct complaints.
- Black and Latinx residents are nearly three times more likely to die in an encounter with Denver police officers than white residents.
As our nation continues to undergo policing and accountability reform, it is more critical than ever to stand against police brutality. The data you contribute by working with the judicial system can help lawmakers offer more protections for all civilians. Filing a claim may also allow you to acquire financial compensation for your harm.