Michael Marshall, we say your name- ¡Presente! Today the city and residents of Denver were failed again by District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, as expected when he announced no criminal charges would be pursued towards the Sheriffs who were involved in the killing of Michael Marshall.
On November 11, 2015, Michael Marshall was arrested for alleged trespassing and was being held on a $100 bond. Before was even booked into the jail, Michael Marshall was restrained by six Sheriff’s deputies after they claimed he didn’t listen to their commands but video footage released today shows deputies taking upwards of an hour to actually provide first aid/ emergency care to Michael Marshall. The video also demonstrates the size of Michael Marshall, 135 lbs and just over five feet tall, in comparison to the deputies involved.
The Marshall family, along with 300 members of the community have been leading a hunger strike to demand the release of the video since January 11th. Denver released the video to the family only after the DA released his report exonerating the deputies from the DA’s office pursuing criminal charges, even though the deputies involved and numerous other people saw the video footage before it being released today.
BSEEDZ condemns to use of excessive force towards all people who enter the Denver jail and especially towards those with mental health needs. With jails being the major mental health care provider in the state, this type of response and negligence by the deputies responsible for the safety of people who enter the jail urges us to echo the call for the overhaul of the violent culture and practices within the jailing, detaining, and imprisoning cycle of abuse. A jail sentence should not be a death sentence and needing mental health care should not be a jail sentence.
We are reminded of Marvin Booker and of Sharod Kindell whose health needs have been extensively neglected since being incarcerated after surviving several shots from police on January 9, 2015. We are reminded of all of our relations, relatives, siblings, and now ancestors that have been killed at the hands of law enforcement. Our lives are Sacred. Sense this divine justice building around and within us, our hearts are strong, we demand an end to the violence so that our families can be supported with healing for a pain and loss they should never have to face. For our families we fight. For the next generations.