Denver City and County Building

The Denver City and County Building.

Denver City Council on Monday evening passed a proclamation that recognizes racism as a public health crisis.

“The police brutality and murders against Black citizens across the United States, including recent victims George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless others have contributed to an environment that is persistently unsafe for our Black communities, serving to uphold both systemic inequities and psychological burdens that worsened this public health crisis,” the proclamation read.

“With support from community partners it is the City of Denver’s responsibility to address racism directly in our work, our programming, and our policies, including seeking solutions to reshape the discourse and actively engage all residents in racial justice work.”

The council’s proclamation also advocates for racial justice as a “core element” of Denver’s policies, programs and procedures.

“We support the expansion of documented equity decision-making frameworks that are transparent to the public, agency organizational work plans to address and correct embedded policies that discriminate and perpetuate racism, educational efforts to address and dismantle racism," the proclamation stated, "including how racism affects individual and population health, providing tools to assist members of local government to engage actively and authentically with communities of color, and to apply an anti-racism lens to their outreach with all communities."

The council earlier on Monday also unanimously called for an investigation of Denver police’s use-of-force tactics in crowd control situations. The request follows numerous complaints against DPD for using excessive force during the first days of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Safety department leadership is scheduled to come before council and discuss those policies on June 17.

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