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Three Aurora police officers and two Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics are facing criminal charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of Elijah McClain.

The announcement came yesterday from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. A statewide grand jury indicted officers Nathan Woodyard and Randy Roedema, former officer Jason Rosenblatt, and paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec. They are all on suspension without pay pending their criminal cases. (It should be noted that Rosenblatt was fired from APD last summer for his involvement in a photo that mocked McClain’s death.)

It’s been almost exactly two years since 23-year-old McClain was violently and unnecessarily detained by officers on his walk home from a convenience store, and injected with a lethal amount of ketamine by paramedics. He went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and died just days later.

McClain’s case drew national outrage as yet another example of police brutality against Black individuals. Denver leaders and McClain’s loved ones see this indictment as a small victory in a very large ongoing battle against a broken system.

However, McClain’s death has prompted unprecedented scrutiny of local law enforcement, which has resulted in new state laws that limit deadly force to a “last resort” tactic, limit the use of ketamine, and require more diligent use of body-worn cameras by officers.
[Denver Post; CO Sun; 9News]

👉 Other coverage of Elijah McClain worth reading:

  • “The Enduring Legacy of Elijah McClain’s Tragic Death” [5280]
  • “‘I’ll Fight for the Rest of My Life’: Elijah McClain’s Mother Reflects on Two Years Since His Death” [CPR]

🌦️ The weather should be mostly sunny with a high of 82, but also be prepared for thunderstorms throughout the day.

— Peyton Garcia, (@peytonmgarcia)


💉 Free, weekly COVID tests are coming to schools
Beginning next week, 447 schools from 22 Colorado districts will begin offering free, weekly COVID tests for students and staff, regardless of vaccination status or the presence of symptoms. The program is backed by $173 million in federal funds, which is being used to contract private vendors for testing. It has not been announced whether Denver Public Schools is one of the participating districts. [CPR]

🚌 Denver’s dream of a faster, better bus system
RTD and the City and County of Denver are dreaming ambitiously of plans to eventually build out bus-only lanes going both directions on Colfax between downtown and Aurora with buses running every 5-10 minutes. To fund such lofty goals, the city is asking for help from a federal grant program. When all is said and done, the project could potentially cost between $200 million and $300 million with construction wrapping up by 2028. [Denverite]

🐾 Mountain lion on the loose
So far this year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has received 12 reports of mountain lion sightings in the Denver metro area east of I-25. The most recent sighting was just last week in Aurora. The lion was spotted twice and even caught on camera hopping over a fence. CPW officials remind residents that where there is prey (deer, racoons, livestock) there could be predators. Pet owners should always be cautious when letting their pets out around dawn and dusk. [9News]
👉 What you can do: Listen to this past episode of City Cast Denver with CPW’s Jason Clay on how to be prepared for Colorado wildlife encounters.


The Broncos' Quarterback Dilemma
14 mins
From our new QB and the return of Von Miller to which rookies to watch, City Cast Producer Xandra McMahon gets the lowdown from Sports Guy Jake Shapiro on everything you should know about the Denver Broncos going into the 2021-22 football season. 

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+ ALL WEEKEND: Colfax Canvas
Uplift and celebrate local artists who are beautifying the Aurora community at the annual Colfax Canvas mural festival beginning this Friday and running through Sunday.

+ FRIDAY: First Friday Bike Tour
Bicycle Colorado invites you on a leisurely 3-mile bike ride along Vía Verde for a tour of Denver’s Westwood neighborhood.

+ FRIDAY: Street Food Mexico
Beer-steamed mussels with chorizo, green chili chicken tinga, and dulce de leche churros — make this feast for yourself at Cook Street’s class on Mexican cuisine.

+ SATURDAY + SUNDAY: Taste of Colorado
Send summer out in Mile High style, as the annual Taste of Colorado festival takes over 16th Street Mall with art, food, performers, and activities.


Photo: Meow Wolf Denver

If you weren’t already excited to visit Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station when it opens later this month, maybe the unveiling of its 13 onsite food and beverage vendors will pique your appetite. This week, Meow Wolf officials announced partnerships with some of Denver’s most beloved local brands who will make up the “interplanetary melting pot” that is HELLOFOOD, an onsite fast-casual cafe open to Convergence Station ticket holders.

The HELLOFOOD vendors are… (drumroll, please!): Adobo, Bubby Goober’s Baked Goods, Combi Taco & Stokes Poke, Copper Door Coffee, God Save the Cream, Marble Brewery, Miss Peabody’s Southern Tea Cakes, Odell Brewing, Osage Cafe, Raíces Brewing, Rocky Mountain Soda Company, Tea.o.graphy, and Upslope Brewing. [Denver Post; Westword]

We’d like to give a big shoutout to City Cast Denver reader Nolan Hahn who is helping us grow by telling his friends about the CCD daily newsletter! We appreciate you, Nolan.

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