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Puebloans list gripes against police

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Aug 09 2013 12:11:01 AM CDT

Puebloans list gripes against police

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Crooked cops. Poor response time. Abuse of power. Those were some of the complaints leveled against Pueblo police.

Dozens of people are pushing Pueblo City Council for a community-police review board. They want police to be held accountable. On Thursday, about 70 people met at Rawlings Library to list their gripes against police.

"I've had nothing but bad experiences with the Pueblo Police Department," said one man.

"I don't want my children growing up with that thought that they are there to harm us and not help us," said a concerned woman.

"I'm not sure that there's relationships being developed by police officers in the neighborhood which I think goes a long way," said state Sen. Angela Giron.

Many are accusing police of being unreceptive and intimidating, including Tim McGettigan. In April, he chased down a man he says molested his daughter's friend. Police gave the suspect a ticket, but didn't arrest him until the next day. McGettigan is on a mission to hold police accountable.

"The more open a dialogue is, the more truthful, the more honest, the more helpful it's going to be. The more the public interest is going to be served," McGettigan said.

It's up to City Council to decide whether to create a citizen's review board. As of now, council has put its trust behind the Human Relations Commission, which oversees reports of police misconduct. But that's not good enough for many in the community. They've collected more than 500 signatures on a petition and want to put more pressure on City Council to create that board.

"I'm not afraid to have some kind of a group, third party, that would work with our Police Department, but I would want it to be an objective group and not just look for bad things," said Steve Nawrocki, city council president.

Even though Pueblo police were invited to the meeting, they did not attend. KRDO contacted police for a comment. Officers did not want to go on camera but said they do not see a reason for a citizen's review board.

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