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Colorado News Miner 113

Glass and McClain deaths, CORA, AI suit, AI regs, paper raid, abuse reporting, Congressional races, and more.

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
May 1, 2024

Christian Glass Trial: I've watched the video. In my view, the police killing of Christian Glass absolutely was a murder. Allison Sherry writes, "Prosecutors . . . said they were going to again try the case against a former Clear Creek County sheriff's deputy who fatally shot a man who called 911 for help. . . . [T]he jury foreperson in the case told CPR News that there was one 'hold out' that prevented a consensus in convicting [the deputy] of criminally negligent homicide." Apparently two of twelve members of the jury refused to convict the deputy of second-degree murder. Here is the craziest part of the story: The "reckless endangerment conviction . . . is not a decertifying offense in Colorado for him to keep his peace officer license." Are you f'ing kidding me!

Weiser on McClain Trials: One thing AG Phil Weiser has done right is work toward justice in the police killing of Elijah McClain. Recently he discussed the related trials with CPR.

Forcible Drugging: It turns out government agents forcibly drugging people is pretty dangerous, as McClain could tell you if he were alive. The AP ran the investigation.

Some CORA Requests More Equal than Others: Jeffrey Roberts: "A bill advanced by state senators . . . would give county clerks up to 20 working days to comply with Colorado Open Records Act requests during election seasons, except for requests made by journalists." A two-class CORA system is inherently unjust.

Black Students in DPS: A long article by Melanie Asmar discusses Denver efforts to improve education for Black students but offers little in the way of specifics. Some encouraging signs: Eighth grade literacy students were writing research papers and reading real books such as Animal Farm.

Papers Sue OpenAI and Microsoft: Ethan Baron: "The Denver Post and seven other newspapers sued Microsoft and OpenAI on Tuesday, claiming the technology giants illegally harvested millions of copyrighted articles to create their cutting-edge 'generative' artificial intelligence products including OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft's Copilot." I have no opinion about this, but it's interesting.

Deepfake Bill: I've read through much of bill 1147 (looking at the April 24 version) and I'm reasonably satisfied that it's not overly broad. (See also Sara Wilson's report.) However, I do wonder whether this bill is required at all. Should the matter be handled by broad law pertaining to false advertising as such? There's not too much difference between writing, "Candidate X said that puppies should be fed into wood chippers," and showing a deepfake video of the candidate "saying" that. So I have two questions: Has the problem at hand already been adequately addressed, and, if not, can it be addressed through more-general language? Other things equal, shorter, simpler statutes are better.

AI Regs: There's a bill to regulate AI because of course there is. "Overregulating AI right now is going to put Colorado businesses at a significant disadvantage," the head of one Denver business testified.

Kansas Paper Raid: Here is a crazy story, via Sherman Smith through Newsline. Here's the gist. Last year, Marion city police along with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation raided a newspaper on what strike me as ridiculous allegations. Obviously the newspaper, the Marion County Record, filed a federal lawsuit. Because of the KBI's obvious conflicts, somehow the investigation of the raid made it to the CBI. (I'm still not sure why CBI ended up with it.)

Eastman and Ellis Indicted in Arizona: Among those indicted in Arizona over the election are John Eastman, "a former visiting professor at the University of Colorado Boulder" and a lawyer for the Republican Party of Colorado, and Jenna Ellis, "a professor at Colorado Christian University who already pleaded guilty to a felony in Georgia on an election interference case," 9News and the AP report. See also a first and second media release from the Arizona AG.

Durango Government Housing: Good luck trying to glean the details from this confusing article. What's obvious is that, rather than just legalize housing, government would rather turn it (largely) into a political affair.

Schuck: If you want to know about Steve Schuck's approach to philanthropy, and particularly his approach to school choice, watch his recent conversation with Jon Caldara.

Mandatory Abuse Reporting: To recap, when it comes to child welfare, government can make one of two errors: Not intervene when a child suffering substantial abuse or neglect, or intervene when a child is not at serious risk, in which case intervention typically does a lot more harm than good. Kristin Jones writes, "More than 60 years ago," Colorado government required "that certain professionals tell officials when they suspect a child has been abused or neglected was among the first mandatory reporting laws in the nation. . . . But now there are efforts in Colorado and other states to roll back these laws, saying the result has been too many unfounded reports, and that they disproportionately harm families that are poor, Black, or Indigenous, or have members with disabilities."

Legislators and Vela: As Corey Hutchins writes, eleven state representatives signed a letter alleging that Colorado Public Radio fired Vic Vela for "requesting accommodations to support his journey of sobriety." The legislators say, "Mr. Vela faced discrimination and hostility, which not only undermined his efforts but also violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Colorado anti-discrimination laws." I am aware of Vela's accusations against CPR; I also am aware that I do not personally have the inside information necessary to reach a firm judgment on the matter, and that the dispute will be heard in the courts. I seriously doubt that the legislators in question have sufficiently considered all of the relevant facts to be able to reasonably reach such confident accusations. We have a separate judicial branch of government for a reason. Obviously I wish Vela the best in his path of sobriety and in his career.

Caraveo Vulnerable? is Yadira Caraveo really vulnerable, as the Washington Examiner claims, or is this just Republican wishful thinking? We'll know soon enough! I know hardly anything about Caraveo's Republican challenger, Gabe Evans.

Crank Wants National Abortion Ban: Congressional candidate Jeff Crank wants a national abortion ban. Remember, he's the sane one in the race.

Convention for Amendments: Some people are serious about wanting to add some amendments to the U.S. Constitution. I don't think they'll succeed. Salzman has the story.

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