• Westish Contributor

DPD Holds “Listening” Meeting Where City Residents Were Unable to Speak

By Christie Buchele

DENVER, Colo.-- Denver Police Chief Pazen and the DPD held a community meeting Wednesday night in the first of a series of “listening” meetings the department is holding to “listen” to their community. In a statement the DPD explained the goals of the meeting; “This will be the first in a series of listening opportunities to bring about meaningful change. This listening session is for residents to express what their ideal police department looks like and what they want to see in policing moving forward.”

Denver residents logged into the zoom meeting with the hopes of being heard and were met with a chat box to ask their questions. “Nothing makes me feel more ‘heard’ then typing my concerns into a chat box, pressing send, and watching it get lost in the void. Thanks, DPD,” explained one participant. The questions were then selectively read by a moderator who had 3 minutes to prepare and is terrified of public speaking. “I sat so anxious waiting to see if the moderator would panic-pick MY question!” stated another participant.

After the meeting there are four things Denverites can know for sure. One, if you want to know what the policy is you can comb through the online handbook, Chief Pazan couldn’t remember exactly what the policy was but he knew where to look.

Two, accountability, training, community involvement, investigation. That’s not a complete sentence but based on the meeting it is clear that DPD believes there is no reason to go into anything specific when you can just throw in a buzzword.

Third, Pazan said he supports implementing policy that would require other officers to step in and remind their colleagues not to kill black people (it’s hard for them to remember that). Chief Pazan is excited (as he stated 17 times) to “work with the community” in the broadest, vaguest, least committal way possible.

The best takeaway from the meeting was the encouragement of Denver citizens to check out https://www.joincampaignzero.org/, an organization that studies proven ways to eliminate police violence and allows people to track the legislation that implements those tactics on the state and city level and take next steps to help. However, that information was shared in the chat by someone named Rachel. Thanks, Rachel. That meeting almost accomplished nothing until you stepped in.

Christie Buchele (@cabuchsy) is a Stand-Up Comedian, Comedy Teacher at Voodoo Comedy, and Comedy Works Regular.

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