DENVER — Face-to-face with the community, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann explained her decision Tuesday night not to charge officers who shot and killed a man seven months earlier.
McCann made a promise during her campaign that she would host similar meetings anytime a decision is made not to file charges in an officer-involved shooting that results in a death.
“We need to be transparent and held accountable,” McCann said. “I want to give the public the opportunity to hear from me personally why I made the decision not to prosecute the officers in this case.
“And also give them the opportunity to ask any questions about the reasoning and the basis for the decision.”
In November, a shooting that involved Aurora and Denver police officers left Juan Ramos dead.
According to the investigation, Ramos was suspected of killing a man earlier that day and then shot at officers, striking one in the face, when they arrived at his home.
McCann determined the force used by officers was legally justified.
“I need to hear what people have to say,” she said. “And if they are upset or have questions, I need to be able to respond to that.”
Members in the Montbello community did speak up at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“I had many questions how that incident happened and I think they did a really good job of explaining,” said one man who lives on the street where the shooting took place but did not want to be named.
Community members also said they appreciate the new approach for a district attorney, just four months in to her tenure.
“I think it’s very admirable coming out here letting us know what went down,” the man said. “Allowing them to listen to our concerns as well and take back what concessions we have with them I think is very beneficial.
“I think we can build a relationship in which we can both look forward to improve.”