Denver 2G — the one about the law enforcement watchdog — results: Yes votes in the lead

It will decide whether Denver’s law enforcement watchdog, the Independent Monitor, should continue to be picked by the mayor.

Nick Mitchell, Denver's former Independent Monitor, stands in front of a mural of Michael Marshall, Alonzo Ashley and Jessica Hernandez. All three died during encounters with Denver law enforcement. South Park Hill. Feb. 4, 2021.

Nick Mitchell, Denver's former Independent Monitor, stands in front of a mural of Michael Marshall, Alonzo Ashley and Jessica Hernandez. All three died during encounters with Denver law enforcement. South Park Hill. Feb. 4, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
kyle harris

Results as of 11:30 p.m.: Supporters of Referred Question 2G lead with 53,774 votes; 25,695 votes oppose it.

Referred Question 2G will decide whether Denver’s law enforcement watchdog, the Independent Monitor, should continue to be picked by the mayor, who oversees the Denver Police and Sheriff departments. If it passes, the measure would allow the nine-person Citizen Oversight Board to name a hire that will need to be approved by City Council, slightly decreasing the mayor’s power.

The Office of the Independent Monitor was created in 2004 by the mayor and city council to take and make recommendations based on citizen complaints about law enforcement in Denver. This could involve anything from excessive force and officer-involved shootings to in-custody deaths. After examining the complaints, the office makes recommendations about how law enforcement should be disciplined and communicates about these issues with the community.

The position of the Independent Monitor, which was previously held by Nick Mitchell, has been vacant since December 2020. He left the position after dropping a brutal report about the Denver Police Department’s conduct during the summer 2020 racial-justice protests.

In August, City Council voted unanimously to ask voters whether the hiring process should be shifted from the mayor to the Citizen Oversight Committee, arguing the change would build broader public trust in the office.

“Creating an Office of the Independent Monitor that is actually independent is important,” said Councilmember Jamie Torres at the city council’s public safety committee in August, reported Denverite. “It needs to live in the charter outside of any other elected authority.”

While Denver is a strong-mayor city and boosters of that system have long opposed weakening the position, there’s no significant opposition against Referred Question 2G.

Election results are not final until they’ve been certified, days or sometimes weeks after Election Day. The Associated Press is not calling races in Colorado this year, and Denverite doesn’t call races. We will report vote tallies as they are counted and reported by the Denver Elections, and we will report if a group supporting or opposing a ballot measure concedes defeat.

 

 

 

 

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