Statetap: MLK Day protesters say NAACP has ‘lost its relevancy’

A handful of Colorado Springs citizens protested outside of the local chapter of the NAACP on Martin Luther King day, declaring that the organization has lost its relevancy and, as one sign read, deserves a failing grade in matters of civil rights. The organizer of the small rally said that their actions have nothing to do with the recent bombing at the NAACP office, labeling that attack a “distraction.” Via the Gazette, photo by Lisa Walton.

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 5.31.20 PMThe Denver Post has been tracking the story of the Denver Freedom Riders, an activist group formed in the wake of Mike Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The Post interviewed group founder, Anthony Grimes and covered the group’s dialogue with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock about youth issues. Grimes’s own documentary about the Denver Freedom Riders is also posted on DPTV. Movie still from DFR’s film. Grimes is seated in the middle.

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 5.23.31 PMGeorge Brauchler, the district attorney in the Aurora movie theater shooting case, has raised eyebrows for insistently pursuing the death penalty for clearly disturbed defendant James Holmes. “That insistence upon the death penalty certainly seems politically motivated,” Denver defense lawyer Dan Recht told AP reporters Sadie Gurman and Nicholas Riccardi. “[Brauchler] may well believe that his insistence on trying to execute Holmes would shore up his conservative base.” Brauchler recently caught the eye of conservative politicos in 2013 for his public skewering of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s decision to forego the death penalty in a shooting case from the 1990s. “Everyone was just blown away by how well Brauchler did at being the voice of opposition,” commented former chairman of the state Republican party Dick Wadhams, “That created a real buzz among Republicans.” This past election cycle, Brauchler decided he couldn’t make the leap to electoral politics while the high-profile movie theater case was ongoing, but a senate campaign next year or a gubernatorial one the year after doesn’t seem out of the question. Nine-thousand prospective jurors will flock to the Arapahoe County criminal justice complex Tuesday morning for what’s shaping up to be a lengthy and costly trial. Via the Durango Herald, photo by David Zalubowski (Brauchler on the left).

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 5.35.15 PMFalse alarm: the U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 3.0 earthquake near Fountain reported early Monday “wasn’t real.” The report was the product of a new analyst misunderstanding a faulty sensor that likely picked up on a series of temblors in south-central Kansas and north-central Oklahoma. There was no physical damage from the phantom quake. Via the Gazette, image of fake quake via USGS.