Community calls for reform after man killed by Denver police

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The Opportunity Center in Aurora hosted a joint press conference on Tuesday led by Denver clergy members, NAACP Denver, community activists and attorneys for the family of Brandon Lee Cole. 

Denver police said Cole was shot and killed by a responding officer who believed he was holding a knife. Cole was actually carrying a black marker. 

The situation started as a domestic violence call when witnesses reported seeing an intoxicated man push his wife, who uses a wheelchair, and then assault his teenage son, according to police. 

Police said they weren’t able to confirm this was a case of domestic violence, but the officers met with the suspect in the middle of the street.

Attorneys want change on how police respond to a medical crisis

Cole’s attorneys said he was an unarmed Black father of three who was shot and killed by police on Aug. 5 while holding nothing but a magic marker. They said they are now asking for a joint call for changes to the Denver Police Department’s response to people in medical crises.

Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation are still looking into the shooting. Both officers in the case were placed on modified paid leave while the investigation continues.

Cole’s attorneys also said that he suffered from epilepsy, which made it difficult for him to move his arms and legs. 

Wife pleads for cops not to shoot husband

Denver police released body camera footage from that situation. 

Video recorded by a male officer shows Cole standing in the street with a female officer standing behind him. The female officer can be heard on her bodycam saying that Cole is holding a knife.

The male officer pulls out his Taser as Cole approaches and then fires it as Cole moves toward the sidewalk where the female officer has repositioned herself by two bystanders.

According to DPD, one of the probes from the Taser did not land so the stun gun did not work.

Cole continues onto the sidewalk and moves toward the female officer who fires her gun twice at him.

Cole was taken to the hospital and later died. 

Cole’s attorneys said his wife, Ebony, pleaded with police officers, “Don’t pull your gun on my husband,” which can be heard in the female officer’s bodycam footage.

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