Protesters charged with attempted kidnapping, inciting a riot in ‘occupation’ of police precinct

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AURORA, CO– In July, amid the destructive and violent riots, hundreds of protesters allegedly barricaded police officers inside an Aurora precinct for several hours, according to a report.

Now, justice is being served for some of those brazen individuals.

On Thursday, September 18th, six individuals were charged in the incident, accused of attempted kidnapping and inciting a riot. 

According to FOX 31 in Denver, the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s office said in a statement on Thursday:

“Around 600 protesters surrounded the Aurora Police Department District One station on July 3, blocked off streets around the precinct and used “wires, ropes, boards, picnic tables and sandbags” found nearby to cut off access to exits”

The report stated that there were 19 officers trapped inside the precinct for several hours until the protesters were dispersed by the police department’s Emergency Response Team around 3 a.m..

The DA’s office said:

“Some members of the group carried handguns and rifles and wore military or tactical clothing,” 

This incident occurred when protesters organized what they called on social media, an “occupation” of the precinct. Their motive for doing this was to force police to fire two officers over the police-custody death of Elijah McClain in August 2019.

Leaders of the group demanded the firing of the who officers, or they would “occupy” District One, stating that “no one would come in or out” until their demands were met.

District Attorney Dave Young said in a statement:

“We support the First Amendment right of people to protest peacefully in our community but there is a difference between a peaceful protest and a riot,

“When individuals cross the line and break the law, they will be prosecuted.”

Here is a list of those convicted, and their charges:

  • Lillian Rose House DOB 10/16/94 Case No. 2020CR3138
    Attempt to Commit First-degree Kidnapping (Class 3 felony)
    C.R.S. 18-3-301(1)(c),(3);18-2-101 (F3) By engaging in conduct constituting a substantial step toward the commission of first-degree kidnapping, the defendant unlawfully and feloniously attempted to imprison or forcibly secrete 18 officers with the intent to force them or another person to make a concession to secure their release.
    Attempt to Influence a Public Servant (Class 4 felony)
    C.R.S. 18-8-306 Defendant unlawfully and feloniously attempted to influence a public servant by threat of violence or economic reprisal against a person or property, with the intent to alter or affect the public servant’s decision, vote, opinion, or action concerning a matter which was considered or performed by the public servant or agency or body of which the public servant was a member.
    Inciting a Riot (Class 5 felony)
    C.R.S. 18-9-102(1)(a),(3) C.R.S. 18-9-102(1)(b),(3)Defendant unlawfully incited or urged a group of five or more person s to engage in a current or impending riot in which damage to property resulted.
    Inciting a Riot (Class 5 felony)
    C.R.S. 18-9-102(1)(b),(3)Defendant unlawfully gave commands, instructions or signals to a group of five or more persons in furtherance of a riot in which damage to property resulted.
    Engaging in a Riot (Class 2 misdemeanor)
    C.R.S. 18-9-104 Defendant unlawfully engaged in a riot.                                                                                                      Obstructing Government Operations (Class 3 misdemeanor)
    C.R.S. 18-8-102 Defendant unlawfully and intentionally obstructed, impaired or hindered the performance of a governmental function by a public servant by using or threatening to use violence, force, physical interference or physical obstacle.
  • Joel Prentice Northam DOB 10/29/87 Case No. 2020CR3153
    Attempt to Commit First-degree Kidnapping (Class 3 felony)
    Inciting a Riot (Class 5 felony)
    Inciting a Riot by giving commands (Class 5 felony)
    Engaging in a Riot (Class 2 misdemeanor)
    Obstructing Government Operations (Class 3 misdemeanor)
  • Whitney Hanna Lucero DOB 05/29/97 Case No. 2020CR3148
    Attempt to Commit First-degree Kidnapping (Class 3 felony)
    Inciting a Riot (Class 5 felony)
    Inciting a Riot by giving commands (Class 5 felony)
    Engaging in a Riot (Class 2 misdemeanor)
    Obstructing Government Operations (Class 3 misdemeanor)
  • Trey Anthony Quinn DOB 09/07/87 Case No. 2020CR3158
    Inciting a Riot (Class 5 felony)
    Inciting a Riot by giving commands (Class 5 felony)
    Engaging in a Riot (Class 2 misdemeanor)
    False Imprisonment (Class 2 misdemeanor)
    Obstructing Government Operations (Class 3 misdemeanor)
  • Terrance Terrell Roberts DOB 08/09/76 Case No. 2020CR3163                                                                  Inciting a Riot (Class 5 felony)                                                                                                                                    Engaging in a Riot (Class 2 misdemeanor)                                                                                                            Obstructing Government Operations (Class 3 misdemeanor)
  • John Russel Ruch, age 33; Case No. 2020CR2313
    2 counts of theft from a person (Class 5 felony)                                                                                                  2 counts of conspiracy to commit theft from a person (Class 6 felony)

The suspects are part of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, which called for the charges to be dropped, claiming on Facebook the charges criminalize protesting.

The group said on Facebook:

“Those arrested were the leaders to demand justice for Elijah McClain, who was brutally murdered by the Aurora Police Department,

“They are still in jail, with the exception of one person. They are facing multiple felony charges and years in prison in an obvious frame-up aimed at stopping the movement for justice for Elijah McClain.”

Emergency Livestream: Police Operation Arrests Anti-Racist Organizers in Denver Area

Police agencies in the Denver area arrested anti-war organizers in a coordinated assault today. People were arrested in a Home Depot parking lot, at their homes, and after they were pulled over while driving. Those arrested were the leaders to demand justice for Elijah McClain, who was brutally murdered by the Aurora Police Department. They are still in jail, with the exception of one person. They are facing multiple felony charges and years in prison in an obvious frame-up aimed at stopping the movement for justice for Elijah McClain. Drop the charges!

Please join an Emergency Livestream tonight, Sept. 17th for updates on this developing situation, and the PSL’s plans to mobilize against this government attack.

Posted by Party for Socialism and Liberation – PSL on Thursday, September 17, 2020

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LET Unity

Given all that has occurred in the last several months, police officers are retiring at a record rate, and who can blame them! 

COLORADO – Back on June 19th, Colorado Governor, Jared Polis signed a sweeping police reform bill into law. The impact? So far, over 200 law enforcement officers have resigned or retired.

Technically, state data makes it unclear as to how many of those separations are a “direct” result of the new law, but interviews with chiefs of police and union officials suggest a number of them are exactly that, a direct result.

Now, the state’s largest police organization has launched its own survey to find out.

According to a report from the Denver Post, between June 13th, the day the legislature passed the bill and August 7th, agencies statewide reported that 241 officers left their department. This number does include those that were fired as well sworn police officers and sheriff’s deputies, and officers that are not POST-certified.

Law enforcement agencies are required to notify POST within 15 days of an officer’s separation, however, they are not required to provide the reason for it or the position they held. So, it is possible that some officers simply transferred to another department within another state.

Mike Violette, executive direction of the Colorado State Fraternal Order of Police and a Denver sheriff’s deputy said in a statement:

“No doubt there’s an impact from SB 217, but we can’t put numbers on it yet. We’re hearing the officers are concerned about being in the profession and what’s happening. That’s why we are running a statewide survey to find out.”

The sweeping police reform bill, titled, “Senate Bill 217,” set limits on police use of force and mandates data collection to make sure officers who are fired from one agency do not get hired by another.

Among other changes, the bill also bans the use of carotid holds, limits when police are allowed to shoot a fleeing person, and requires officers to intervene in cases of excessive force or they will face criminal charges.

The bill requires all officers to use body-worn cameras (body-cams) and that departments release the footage within 45 days. The bill also allows for officers to be held personally liable for civil rights violations.

The bill has wiped away qualified immunity as now officers can be sued personally and held liable for 5% of any judgement or settlement against them or $25,000, whichever is less.

In response to this police reform bill, many officers across the state are expressing grave concerns. Aurora police officer Judy Lutkin, who is a 30-year veteran and is also the president of the Aurora Police Association said:

“I’ve talked to many officers who are concerned about this bill and what it looks like the impact will be to them. We’re scrambling to figure out the insurance bit, to prevent officers from losing their houses when they’re acting in good faith.”

She added:

“I’m looking to retire and I don’t want to have to leave, but I don’t want myself and my family at risk.”

Lieutenant Bob Shaffer of the Loveland Police Department gave additional insight to this bill harms the many officers who give their careers to protecting and serving their communities.

He said:

“When SB 217 passed, it put some officers over the edge to take early retirement. There is a significant fear of being vulnerable and unsupported that is causing a lot of officers, at a minimum, consider leaving employment and moving out of the state entirely.”

Shaffer said as many as 10 officers in the Loveland department have said they intend to retire as a result of the new law. Denver Detective Nick Rogers, a 35-year veteran of the department and who is also president of the Denver Police Protective Association shared his thoughts on the new bill. 

He said that between the risk of allowing the city to decide when and if an officer is not acting in good faith along with the dramatic shift in the public protests against police, he is also considering cutting his career short. 

He said:

“I have decided to leave myself, perhaps in a year or two rather than the four or so I had planned on. Being a cop isn’t the same as it was yesterday. My profession changed on me, I didn’t change on my profession. To me, I didn’t quit on society, it quit on me.

“We went from 100% love in the community during this pandemic, then overnight all of us became the devil and we didn’t deserve it. Get the dirty ones out, get rid of them, but 99.9% of us are good. Society screwed all the good cops and it’s not right.”

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