The Home Front: Racial bias in arrests exists statewide; concealed carry permits boom; half of crimes go unreported

A first-of-its-kind report has found that black men and women are disproportionately arrested in Colorado, the Denver Post reports, and are more likely than any other group to receive prison sentences. “Though they represent just 4.2 percent of the state’s population, a Colorado Division of Criminal Justice report found that blacks accounted for 12.4 percent of the arrests and summonses in 2015. The findings also show those accusations were more frequently for serious charges, including assault, aggravated assault, homicide, robbery and weapons-related offenses.”

The Gazette out of Colorado Springs fronts a story about a boom in concealed carry permits this year, an increase experts are attributing to two mass shootings in the city last fall. “It’s the only thing we can purport,” said a spokeswoman for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. The county approved nearly twice as many permits this year as in 2015. 

An estimated 50 percent of all crimes go unreported, reports the Greeley Tribune this morning. Experts say it’s a national trend, and can make adequate research on crime trends difficult to conduct. “It’s a common belief among researchers and police that victims often feel there is little law enforcement can do to help them, so they don’t report the crime.”

The Aspen Times reports today that Aspen Skiing Company has partnered with other area businesses to buy Snowmass Base Village, with plans to construct a new 102-room hotel, among other projects.

The Boulder Daily Camera led with a story about Superior’s planned Town Center, a project whose delays have frustrated many who expected to see more progress by now.

On the front page of Steamboat Today: The city of Steamboat Springs will soon secure a permanent easement along part of the Yampa River, thanks to an agreement with owners of a local inn. The city hopes the agreement will improve public access to the area.

The Canon City Daily Record fronts a story about Sean Overstreet, a man who stabbed a Cotopaxi teacher in January. Overstreet was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday.

The Southern Ute Tribe, which has been accused of retaliating against whistleblowers, is contesting the allegations, the Durango Herald reports. “Federal employees played a major role in gross mismanagement of the tribe’s resources, which resulted in a $126 million settlement from the U.S. government in September,” the tribe asserts. 

Low oil prices are making things difficult for oil companies looking to produce oil from Utah’s tar sands, reports the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

The residents of a new Fort Collins affordable housing complex will be chosen by lottery, the Coloradoan writes today.

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

1 COMMENT

  1. The headline: “Racial bias exists in arrests statewide” mischaracterized the the Denver Post story “blacks men and women disproportionally arrested”. More arrests is the symptom of the general problem of bias and discrimination. The headline singles out police for bias when they are just doing their job of investigating a crime and arresting and prosecuting the suspected perpetrator.

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