EVENT: A conversation about mental illness and law enforcement in rural Colorado

Still shot from the dashboard camera on former Rangely Police Lt. Roy Kinney's patrol car as he chased Daniel Pierce through the desert. The December 10, 2018 pursuit ended when Kinney fatally shot Pierce.
Still shot from the dashboard camera on former Rangely Police Lt. Roy Kinney's patrol car as he chased Daniel Pierce through the desert. The December 10, 2018 pursuit ended when Kinney fatally shot Pierce.

Next month will mark the year anniversary of Daniel Pierce’s death. The newcomer to the rural northwest Colorado community of Rangely was suffering from untreated paranoid schizophrenia when he stole a truck, refused to respond to the police’s orders to pull over, and died after an officer who knew he was in mental health crisis shot him. 

“Through the Cracks,” the story of his killing and its aftermath, was chronicled by an investigative collaboration, linked here, between The Rio Blanco Herald Times and The Colorado Independent. It raises questions about police training, mental health resources and government transparency in Rangely and Rio Blanco County, as well as in rural communities throughout Colorado that face similar challenges.

We invite you to join us in Rangely on the evening of Monday, December 2nd for a conversation about the many cracks in local mental health care, public safety and public information through which Daniel Pierce and his story fell. We’ll be discussing ways to improve access to mental health crisis resources, bolster mental health training for first responders, and open lines of communication between local government, the news media and local communities.

WHERE: Colorado Northwestern Community College, Weiss Conference Room, 500 Kennedy Drive, Rangely CO 81648

WHEN: 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, December 2nd. Light refreshments will follow. 

WHO: The forum is free and open to the public. Representatives from the Rangely Police Department, the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, Rio Blanco County Public Health and Mind Springs Health will attend, as will statewide advocates for mental health care, police accountability and government transparency. 

Please join us for this important and long overdue conversation. We hope to see you there.                          

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.

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