Boulder County refuses to release jail death videotapes
Boulder County is refusing to release videotape that may shed light on the May 27 death of Stephanie Anderson in the county’s jail.
The mother of three from Denver, who was being jailed on a shoplifting charge and an outstanding warrant, was reportedly found unresponsive in her cell a day after she had complained of feeling ill. Jail officials tried to resuscitate her for about half an hour before she was pronounced dead.
Witnesses housed in the unit with Anderson say sheriff’s deputies ignored her cries for help. One deputy reportedly mocked her in Spanish.
The Colorado Independent on Tuesday filed a freedom of information request for video of Anderson on the day of her death, as well as of the time before, during and after her body was found. The county promptly denied the request.
“We are not able to release any information at this time because it is an open investigation,” wrote Theresa Cavalier, records manager for the sheriff’s department. Cavalier said she would comply with the request once the probe is complete.
There’s no telling how long that process might take.
In 2010, Denver stalled 10 months before releasing videotape of inmate Marvin Booker’s death at the Denver jail. More recently, it took Denver about two months to release footage of inmate Michael Marshall’s November 2015 death at the hands of sheriff’s deputies who were trying to restrain him.
The Independent sued Denver in January for the Marshall videotapes. The city released the footage a day later and the lawsuit has since been dropped.
Photo credit: Jake Setlak, Creative Commons, Flickr
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