McClinon Recipient of Bernard Gipson Sr. Award
Center for African American Health Director Grant Jones, Rudy McClinon, and Board Chair Haven Moses
Rudy McClinon, Jr. has been involved in fitness since the age of ten when he received the President’s Physical Fitness Achievement Award. In 2004, McClinon along with his wife and business partner Elissa Diaz-McClinon, started R-U-A Pro Fitness, LLC which specializes in helping and working with baby boomers, older active adults and special populations. On December 2, the inspirational fitness trainer and humanitarian received the Dr. Bernard F. Gipson, Sr. Health Leadership Award at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This annual award was established in 2006 by the Center for African American Health (CAAH) to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of the Black community. The intimate catered affair was attended by friends and family of McClinon, along with staff and board members
of CAAH. Among the guests to volunteer their connection to McClinon was a 93year young member of his exercise class, who shared her accolades for how McClinon inspires her and impacts her quality of life. Haven Moses, Chair of the CAAH Board, gave remarks and a video tribute for the Award Ceremony. McClinon is the President of Sankofa Wholistic Health Care and designed and facilitated a Strength and Balance program for CAAH. He has led exercise programs for Zion Senior Center, among many other residence facilities and organizations. The award is named after the first board-certified Black surgeon in Colorado. Dr. Gipson retired from practice in Denver in 1995, having served the community for 41 years. He remained active as a volunteer for many years following, and continues to reside in Denver. –Misti Aas
6 Million Dollar Settlement in Booker Settlement
Denver city attorneys reached a $6 million settlement agreement with the family of Marvin Booker that will cover the full amount of a federal jury’s $4.65 million award for excessive force and zeal, as well as the family’s attorney’s fees of $1.35 million. City Attorney Scott Martinez asked the City Council to approve moving the money from a contingency fund into a legal liability fund. The city filed a motion last month asking a judge to weigh in on the amount of damages and to reduce the jury’s judgment to one third of the awarded amount. Denver officials were stubborn in accepting responsibility and denied accountability. The record settlement brings finality to the legal portion of the Booker case and allows the focus to shift towards healing. This is not the only successful legal claim against Denver’s law enforcement
agencies. This summer, the city agreed to settle for $3.25 million in a case filed by former jail inmate Jamal Hunter, who was beaten and scalded by fellow inmates and choked by a deputy. In September, a federal jury awarded $1.8 million to Daniel Martinez Jr., and three of his four sons after hearing a wrongful prosecution case in which police officers executed a warrantless raid on their home, previously occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes. The city used an outside law firm to defend itself in the Hunter and Booker cases. The legal bills for those attorneys still are being added up. It is time to say enough is enough to the senseless disrespect of life. The Booker settlement should not be considered the end of justice - it is the beginning.
Officer Recorded Beating Suspect Gets Promotion
Just one week after FOX31 Denver first aired a citizen’s videotape of a police officer punching a drug suspect in the face, then tripping his pregnant girlfriend, the Denver Police Department gave that same officer a promotion. Charles “Chris” Jones IV is one of five officers who recently received a raise and new sergeant stripes during a special ceremony. Failures among Denver’s criminal justice system stretch through every level of government and create a culture where people’s rights are violated and lives are ruined, according to a recent 21-page report issued by the Colorado Latino Forum. The group, which has been critical of the Denver Sheriff Department’s reform process, took to task every level of city government and the city’s criminal justice system. 4 8 5 Points News
“There would have been nothing to preclude anybody from being promoted in this situation,” stated Denver Police Commander Matt Murray. “DPD does not have a specific policy regarding when we would or wouldn’t promote someone.” Murray confirmed that Sgt. Jones is currently the subject of an internal affairs investigation. DPD is allegedly reviewing videotape during the August arrest of a pair of Honduran immigrants suspected of dealing drugs. Jones’ report said he punched the man in an attempt to get him to spit out a sock full of suspected heroin. A series of “use of force” investigations against Jones last August ruled he did not violate policy. The new videotape shows apparent discrepancies between the officers’ reports and the images captured.