Activists demand recall of Denver’s district attorney

Police reform activists clutched petitions Friday afternoon on the 16th Street Mall demanding the recall of Denver’s district attorney, Mitch Morrissey, who has held the position for 11 years. Yet much like Colorado’s famous gun-control motivated recall activists, these anti-Morrissey demonstrators are also rallying online. Since the petition went live on the same day Morrissey announced there would be no criminal charges for the cops that shot 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez, a Facebook page devoted to the recall has garnered about 300 “likes.”

“We have an opportunity to right the wrongs perpetrated by Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey. We have the opportunity to effect change right here in Denver. The time to act is now,” the page proclaims before listing the motivations for the recall. Here is a sample from the many grievances:

• He has failed during his entire tenure to file criminal charges against any law enforcement officer for excessive use of force cases that have resulted in emotional distress, bodily injury, or loss of life.
• He has known about falsified statements made during investigations and failed to charge officers who participated in cover ups with any wrong doings
• He has a lack of empathy towards the imprisoned. For example there are several cases where he refuses to reopen cases where people are serving time for crimes they may not have committed.
• Mitch Morrissey’s MO is to release rulings with little to no public presence. He is absent when the people of Denver have questions. These actions represent a veil of secrecy that the public has grown to distrust.
• It has taken mainstream media news coverage and exposes to initiate several investigations by the DA office. Citizens without access to coverage have been denied access to the same diligence that “news coverage” has gotten others
• Mitch Morrissey has used his office to intimidate other offices and circumvent other agencies rulings. For example he has stated that he is the only one that can determine a death a homicide circumventing the coroner’s office findings.
• Mitch Morrissey has been in office for three terms and it is just time for him to go

Morrissey’s office did not respond to a request from The Colorado Independent for comment Friday afternoon. In a letter to Westword, the office declined to comment on the recall but challenged the accuracy of the above claims.