Denver Homeless Out Loud activist learns more in court about why she was arrested

Terese Howard walks Denver on a freezing night to check in on people camping in the blizzard. Dec. 17, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

homeless; right to rest; camping ban; blizzard; snow; denver; denverite; kevinjbeaty; colorado; five points;

Terese Howard walks Denver on a freezing night to check in on people camping in the blizzard. Dec. 17, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) homeless; right to rest; camping ban; blizzard; snow; denver; denverite; kevinjbeaty; colorado; five points;

Donna Bryson. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

It appears paperwork and communications failures led to a day in jail for a Denver advocate for people experiencing homelessness.

Terese Howard of Denver Homeless Out Loud was recording police telling people to clear their belongings from a stretch of Stout Street in Five Points on Oct. 25 when an officer approached, told her she was named in a warrant and arrested her. She was taken to jail just after 8 a.m. that day and released at about 6 p.m. without being required to pay bail.

The warrant stemmed from Howard’s conviction for a 2016 violation of Denver’s urban camping ban. During a court hearing Monday, Denver County Court Judge Andre L. Rudolph told Howard that last spring city attorneys had requested her probation be revoked because they had no record that she had completed her sentence of 40 hours of community service for violating the ban. Rudolph said that led to a hearing that Howard did not attend, resulting in the warrant for failure to appear.

Rudolph said he could find no record that Howard had been informed that the city was requesting her probation be revoked or why.

“I don’t think that you were advised,” Rudolph said in court, then proceeded to formally do so.

Rudolph said Howard is entitled to a hearing at which the city will have to prove she did not complete her community service. Howard said she did serve the 40 hours and believes she submitted the required paperwork, though a document in her court file referring to her community service is incomplete.

Rudolph set the next hearing for Nov. 22.

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