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Aurora Community hosts Safe Summer kickoff in memory of Jor’dell Richardson

By staff

Memorial to Jor'del Richardson held by the Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Aurora, CO – On Saturday, June 1, the family of Jor’dell Richardson, Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee (DACAC) organizers, and community members, hosted a safe summer kickoff at Del Mar Park, in memory of Jor’dell Richardson. Jor’dell was a 14-year-old who was shot and killed by the Aurora Police Department on June 1, 2023.

The Richardson family has been fighting for justice in the case of Jor’dell’s death for over a year. APD claimed Richardson had a gun at the time of the incident leading up to his death, which was later shown to be false. Family, friends and teachers who spoke highly of Richardson.

The memorial event started with speeches in remembrance of Jor’dell, followed by music, food, drinks, and activities such as games and drawing for kids. Speeches from DACAC members and State Representative Tim Hernandez and other activities honored Jor’dell’s memory and helped build community.

DACAC members brought attention to their campaign of putting policing power in the hands of the community and the connections that has with tragedies such as Jor’dell’s death.

“Police violence doesn't happen in a vacuum: it is a direct result of training, systemic racism, misogyny and killology that is drilled into police recruits, encouraging escalation with the ever available option of violence as long as an officer claims that they felt in danger. How can we change such a rotten system? By taking control,” said Michael Watson, an organizer with DACAC.

DACAC is pushing a campaign for a Community Police Accountability Council (CPAC), where powers such as managing policing budgets, the ability to hire and fire police officers, and direct investigation of police misconduct will come down to community-elected board members.

Rep. Hernandez extended himself to the community and the family, stating, “I know this has got to be a really difficult time for the family, so I hope you guys will be able to hold each other close. I’m thankful to be here with everybody, I hope that everybody here can take some time today to just reflect on what it means to be in community with each other and why that's deeply important for young people to feel.”

The memorial ended with a sendoff, where the community and family released many of the blue balloons that decorated the event. Community and family gathered in a big circle and shouted Jor’dell’s name as they released their balloons, keeping Jor’dell’s name and family close in their hearts.

#AuroraCO #DenverCO #CO #InJusticeSystem #PoliceBritality #KillerCops #CPAC #DACAC