Hotline To Take Police Bias Complaints

A coalition of civil rights leaders is set to introduce the creation of a statewide “police discrimination hotline” in Denver today, meant to to take complaints and offer services to individuals who claim to be racially profiled by members of law enforcement.The Colorado Progressive Coalition, a group of community activists who advocate for a variety of civil rights issues, is behind the project, claiming that concerns over police discrimination against immigrants and people of color motivated the coalition to create the hotline.

Volunteers are expected to staff the phone line to see if callers are in need of legal assistance and help will be offered in cases where formal complaints should be filed with police departments. Spanish speakers will also be able to use the hotline, according to the coalition.

In 2001 the state Legislature passed a measure with provisions to require law enforcement in Denver to report key information regarding traffic stops, including the reason for the stop, any arrests as a result of such stops, and the race, gender, or age of those detained during the stops. The provisions expired in 2004, and the coalition claims that such a hotline is one of the only ways to obtain information about racial profiling incidents.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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