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Family and community activists hold vigil for Adam Fresquez

By staff

Family and community gather to mourn the loss of Adam Fresquez, 33, who was killed by an unknown person on May 3.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Edgewater, CO – The Edgewater Civic Center became a focal point for solidarity and remembrance on December 5, as about 50 family members, community activists and local residents gathered to honor the life and legacy of Adam Fresquez.

Fresquez was pepper-sprayed and fatally shot twice in the back on May 3. The assailant still remains unidentified to the public. The timing of this vigil coincided with the swearing-in ceremony of Edgewater’s new mayor, Steve Conklin, and incoming city council members. The gathering served as a call to the newly appointed officials to ensure accountability within the Edgewater Police Department and to seek justice for Fresquez murder.

The evening began with heartfelt speeches from members of Fresquez’s family, notably his sister Crystal Fresquez and his mother Lena Fresquez Mendez. Their emotional reflections resonated throughout the event, emphasizing the lasting impact of Adam Fresquez 's presence and the need to seek justice and find closure.

Members of the Denver Justice Project and Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee also spoke to the loss the community felt with the murder of Adam Fresquez. After the vigil, the attendees crowded into the Edgewater city council chambers to voice their dissent to the council.

Crystal Fresquez began public comment by pointing out the previous investigations by 1st District Attorney Alexis King into the Edgewater Police Department that found serious violations, including evidence tampering, and an internal culture of bullying, retaliation and bending the rules. She continued, “Our family, community members, and community advocates are concerned about the lack of accountability within Edgewater PD and the negative impact it has had on our lives and on public safety in general. We ask: of the officers involved in prior misconduct, who has been fired?”

Hans Miller, a member of Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee, addressed the audience during the public comment session, shedding light on the lack of transparency surrounding the details of Adam Fresquez's case. Miller highlighted the barriers faced in accessing crucial information related to the officers involved in the incident. He expressed dismay at being charged approximately $1600 merely as a down payment to obtain critical information through the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, stressing that such essential details should be readily accessible to the public, regardless of financial status. Miller underscored the urgent need for transparency and accountability within law enforcement agencies, proposing a Community Police Accountability Council as a potential solution.

Jonce Palmer, chair of Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee spoke during public comment. asking each one of the previous council members, new council members, the chief of police and mayor what they're doing to ensure proper investigation in the case of Adam Fresquez. They asked a direct question of Edgewater Police Chief Eric Sonstegard, “This family’s been waiting for seven months, and they have to pay over $1500, potentially more, just to get to the bottom of what happened to their loved one? The taxpayers of Edgewater already pay your salary; haven’t we paid enough?”

The vigil and the following public comment made it clear that the community will not remain silent in the face of injustice as they fight to seek justice for Adam Fresquez. The call for police accountability will not be pushed aside as the community challenges authorities to uphold the principles of justice they claim to hold and ensure that tragedies like this are thoroughly investigated and those responsible are held accountable.

#EdgewaterCO #InjusticeSystem #PoliceBrutality #KillerCops #DACAC