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DA Beth McCann: Investigate the Taser that Killed Marvin Booker. Hold Deputies Accountable

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We, the undersigned, join the Booker family in calling on Denver District Attorney Beth McCann to reopen the criminal investigation into the 2010 killing of Marvin Booker, with specific attention to the discrepancies in testimony and evidence around how the taser that was used to kill him was handled by Denver Sheriff deputies. There are compelling, unresolved reasons to believe the deputies involved may have tampered with, hidden, or even destroyed the original taser - a key piece of evidence in their and the City’s defense - and we believe that DA McCann has a responsibility and a mandate to reopen the investigation based on the new evidence brought forward by the Booker family.  

The new DA, Beth McCann has the power to reopen this criminal case to finally seek answers and closure for Marvin Booker’s family and to definitively learn whether the Sheriff deputies involved attempted to hide the evidence of their wrong doing.  Join us in solidarity with the Booker family by demanding that this case be reopened.

Beth McCann: reopen the investigation of the murder of Marvin Booker. Show us that you will not hold law enforcement to a different standard for criminal wrong doing.

More Context:

On July 10, 2010, Marvin Booker was killed. Known by his community as a street preacher, Marvin was brought to the Denver County Jail where he ended up being physically confronted by police officers before they piled on top of jumped on him, restrained him, beat him, tased him, and killed him. During the investigation of his murder, then District Attorney Mitch Morrissey declined to press charges against the officers involved, however a later ruling in a civil lawsuit determined that there was significant wrongdoing.

For over two years, Denver Justice Project has been focusing on the power of the district attorney to increase accountability for law enforcement and combat mass incarceration. Thanks to input from the community, we developed a ten-point platform for what our ideal district attorney would look like to push the 2016 candidates to better-represent the community in their role should they be elected. We have continued to press newly-elected Beth McCann to embody our platform in meetings and in public. One of our platform points was that the new DA establish a Conviction Review Unit to review past convictions of people who have maintained that they are innocent, but also to look at past cases of non-indictments against an officer who used deadly force or caused grievous bodily harm and reopen such cases if necessary.

One of the driving forces for why we wanted this of a new DA was Marvin Booker’s murder which was particularly devastating to our community and as time has passed, has revealed serious concerns with the investigatory process that ended in a lack of indictment for police and deputies who have hurt or killed members of our community. As the new documentary Marvin Booker Was Murdered revealed with new video footage that had never before been public, there were major discrepancies in the officers’ testimonies and significant concerns with the investigation, especially with regard to the issue of the taser. According to the documentary, the taser that was entered as evidence into the criminal investigation appears not to be the same taser that was used to kill Marvin Booker. The details of that discrepancy and the family’s new demands can be found in this article by the Susan Greene of Colorado Independent:

What we want from a District Attorney is to be responsive to the community. We want them to be deliberate in seeking answers and justice when our community has been hurt. The DA has the power to go back and reopen such cases as Marvin’s, and we are asking that Beth McCann use that power. In the past, she has claimed that she is reluctant to reopen such cases because she doesn’t want to reopen old wounds, but the reality is that these wounds never fully-healed for the families who lost loved ones. Marvin’s family is still left without answers and is still in pain, and our city is still left suspecting its own law enforcement officers of a cover up. The community deserves to know that their DA will seek justice, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be. At the end of the day, Marvin Booker was murdered, and Denver deserves a DA that will hold his murderers accountable.

Join us in demanding that District Attorney Beth McCann reopen this case to seek closure for the family, justice for the community, and accountability for law enforcement.

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