News

Denver must defend itself in Jimma Reat family suit over botched-911-call death, judge rules

In September 2012, the family of Jimma Reat, who was killed after a 911 operator told his companions and him to return to an area near where they'd just escaped a racially motivated attack, sued the City of Denver. A subsequent ruling allowed a potential federal civil rights trial focusing on the operator to move forward. But now, Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty has once again made Denver a defendant, after new evidence surfaced about a troubling incident that preceded Reat's death -- one that led to no significant discipline of the operator. Details and more below.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts