In a PBS news feature addressing the Denver, Colorado Police Department's lack of transparency in holding rouge cops accountable. They show that Former Denver Police officer Shane Madrigal once boasted about fatally shooting a carjacking suspect and then firing 16 more rounds to disfigure the victim's face till it "fell apart," according to his coworkers.
Madrigal resigned in 2022 and was also under investigation for making racist, homophobic, and highly inappropriate comments related to on-duty killings. Despite this alarming behavior, he retains a clean disciplinary record with the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) board, the agency responsible for police regulation in the state.
This case is not isolated, as the investigation conducted by the Colorado News Collaborative (COLab), Rocky Mountain Public Media, 9News, Colorado Public Radio, and The Sentinel newspaper in Aurora exposed several systemic flaws in police discipline in Colorado.
The investigation also revealed that some officers involved in high-profile misconduct cases, such as the 2019 killing of Elijah McClain, falsely appeared in the state's new police database with clean disciplinary records.
With only 21 months of misconduct information available to the public, experts argue that it could take a decade or more before POST's database truly reflects the extent of officer misconduct in Colorado. The failure to include pre-2022 records means that many officers with disciplinary actions before that date effectively have their records shielded from public view.
We must continue to demand transparency and accountability. #abolitionnow