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Colorado Police Shootings Way Down Since George Floyd Protests

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Protests rocked Denver and other Colorado communities following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25, and the demonstrations over racism in law enforcement helped create the momentum needed for the Colorado General Assembly to pass a sweeping police reform bill. in June. But they may also have contributed to lives being saved over the months that followed.

The pace of police shootings in this state slowed dramatically in the wake of the Floyd-related rallies. Through May 25, there had been 28 such incidents in the state during 2020; there have been just 21 in the nearly seven months that followed. That's a total of 49 police shootings in the state so far this year — far fewer than the 68 that took place during 2019.

Of course, there's no way to prove that increased public scrutiny on the use of deadly force, particularly against people of color, inspired more officers to keep their guns holstered. But the data, culled from a map tracking 2020 police shootings in Colorado maintained by Denver7, offers compelling anecdotal evidence.

The new year began on an especially lethal note, with nine police shootings, five of them fatal, in January 2020. The rate of officer-involved gunfire slowed in February (six shootings), March (four) and April (three) before picking up again in May. Six police shootings took place prior to Floyd's death, and another pair happened in the 72 hours afterward.

But after that, police shootings across Colorado tapered off substantially. There were four in June, and just one in July. And since the Halloween killing of John Pacheaco Jr. by Glendale cops, there have only been two police shootings in Colorado: on November 4 at Fort Carson and on December 8 in Castle Rock.

While the reasons for reduction are debatable, the results should be welcomed by police and protesters alike. Here are all of the police shootings in Colorado to date for 2020:

January 1: Denver (fatality)
January 6: Aurora (fatality)
January 8: Aurora (injury)
January 11: New Castle (no injuries)
January 12: Colorado Springs (injury)
January 12: Wheat Ridge (fatality)
January 22: Arapahoe County (injury)
January 22: Arvada (fatality)
January 25: Aurora (fatality)
February 2: Grand Junction (injury)
February 13: Longmont (injury)
February 14: Commerce City (fatality)
February 21: Arvada (fatality)
February 26: Greeley (fatality)
February 27: Colorado Springs (fatality)
March 1: Pueblo (fatality)
March 2: Colorado Springs (injury)
March 17: Mesa County (fatality)
March 20: Pueblo (injury)
April 9: Kiowa County (fatality)
April 19: Colorado Springs (injury)
April 22: Baca County (fatality)
May 3: Sterling (fatality)
May 6: Commerce City (fatality)
May 9: Grand Junction (fatality)
May 9: Clear Creek County (fatality)
May 15: Pueblo (fatality)
May 22: Teller County (injury)
May 26: Thornton (fatality)
May 28: Centennial (fatality)
June 9: Englewood (fatality)
June 18: Westminster (fatality)
June: 22 Aurora (fatality)
June 23: Pueblo (fatality)
July 28: Denver (injury)
August 5: Colorado Springs (no injuries)
August 11: Pueblo (fatality)
August 15: Denver (fatality)
August 29: Loma (fatality)
September 9: Denver (fatality)
September 12: Denver (fatality)
September 15: Denver (fatality)
September 18: Lakewood (fatality)
September 26: Denver (injury)
October 6: Sterling (injury)
October 11: Grand Junction (injury)
October 31: Glendale (fatality)
November 4: Fort Carson (fatality)
December 8: Castle Rock (injury)

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