In 2015, the Colorado legislature passed a measure requiring all law enforcement agencies and District Attorney’s Offices to develop a protocol for participating in a multi-agency team to conduct the investigation, or review, of incidents involving the discharge of a firearm by a peace officer resulting in injury or death.
Pursuant to statute and protocol, Boulder County has designated a Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) to respond to every officer-involved shooting that results in injury or death. This team is comprised of dedicated and experienced multi-agency law enforcement personnel to ensure an objective and thorough investigation is completed in these cases. The District Attorney’s Office plays an active role in assisting the CIRT. The agency involved does not play an active role in the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the CIRT presents their findings to the District Attorney.
When an officer-involved shooting occurs, the District Attorney is responsible for determining whether criminal charges should be filed; whether criminal charges should not be filed or whether to present the case to the Grand Jury for an indictment decision. If the District Attorney decides not to file criminal charges, the District Attorney releases a “decision letter” of his findings.
Decision letters can be found archived here.
GRAND JURY INVESTIGATIONS
In the instance that no charges are filed and no “decision letter” is issued, the District Attorney may refer the officer-involved shooting case to the Grand Jury. After a thorough and confidential investigation, the Grand Jury can either:
- issue a “True Bill” reporting probable cause exists for an indictment;
- issue a “No True Bill” reporting no probable cause exists for an indictment;
- or issue a “No True Bill” reporting no probable cause exists for an indictment and a public report detailing the findings of their investigation.
Grand Jury proceedings are confidential, meaning that the public is prohibited from entering the proceedings; there is no release of witness testimony and/or names; and evidence collected and/or presented remains confidential even after the proceedings are concluded. This secrecy remains in place until an indictment is returned or a public report is issued and is made public pursuant to law.
Public reports issued by the grand jury can be found here.
See information on the Peace Officer-Involved Shooting Investigations — protocol, C.R.S. 16-8.5-301 and C.R.S. 20-1-114.
POLICY AND PROCEDURE
A link to the Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon by the various law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney’s Office for policies regarding the Boulder County Critical Incident Team can be found here.