Hancock administration’s ‘transparency’ about jail inmate’s death is hard to see

From The Colorado Independent: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration says it’s “committed to transparency” about the death last week of Michael Lee Marshall after sheriff’s deputies restrained him at the city jail.

Nevertheless, the city is refusing to make public any information about the deadly incident.

“Transparency means allowing the Marshall family and the community to see the video showing what happened to Michael. Anything less isn’t transparency. It’s a hollow promise,” says the family’s lawyer, Mari Newman.

The city has denied all parts of a lengthy freedom of information request filed by The Colorado Independent. The inquiry — filed under Colorado’s Open Records Act and Criminal Justice Records Act — asked for video or audio recordings of the November 11 incident at the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center in which deputies restrained Marshall until he lost brain function.

Marshall, 50 and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, died on Friday after his family ended the life support that had kept him alive for nine days after his confrontation with deputies.

The Independent asked for the names of those officers as well as their previous disciplinary reports. It also requested radio transmissions, 911 recordings, incident reports, a list of inmates housed near Marshall’s cell, a list of inmates who witnessed the confrontation and witness’s statements.

“Your request for those records is denied because it would be contrary to the public interest to release records related to the incident before the completion of the current investigations,” reads a letter written Monday by the Department of Safety.

Visit The Colorado Independent for more.

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