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Boulder City Council Holds Special Meeting to Discuss Racism

The special city council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1777 Broadway. 

Boulder strives to be a welcoming and inclusive community for everyone. The police incident that occurred on March 1 did not reflect these values; the city can and will do better going forward. 

City Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, March 18 at 6 p.m. to have a community conversation about racism, community values and what must be done to improve racial equity for all members of Boulder.

“Racism – whether explicit or implicit – exists in our nation, and it exists in our community,” said Mayor Suzanne Jones. “As this recent incident illustrates, racial bias impacts both individuals’ lives and the entire community and undermines our promise of Boulder being open and welcoming to all. We recognize the need to take additional action to become the community we say we are and want to be. We hope this community conversation can be a useful step towards that goal.”

Jones invited community members to join city council on March 18 to have a conversation about race, bias within the community and city government, and racial equity to help develop a framework to move forward. Boulder’s special meeting is intended to bring this issue to the forefront of how city government and the community can work together.

“I am deeply saddened by last week’s incident,” said City Manager Jane Brautigam. “This individual committed no crime, was in his own backyard, and we failed to respect him at his own home. While we do not know all of the facts yet, I am truly sorry that we did not live up to community values and expectations.”

“On behalf of the police department and the city, I would like to apologize,” said Police Chief Greg Testa. “Our officers are trained to treat every individual with respect.  Last week’s actions by an officer furthered fear in our community and impacted a Boulder man who did nothing wrong.  Going forward, the police department will do better. We will increase training on racial bias and emphasize training around community values to ensure this does not happen again.”

Testa said that a full internal affairs investigation is underway. When the investigation is complete, the police department will publicly release all officers’ body camera video and an executive summary of the investigation.

The special city council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1777 Broadway. The meeting will be televised and livestreamed on boulderchannel8.com.

Published: March 8, 2019

Media contacts:
Patrick von Keyserling, Communication Director, 303-441-4959