The initial reports concerning the death of Alonzo Ashley at the Denver Zoo on Monday July 18, 2011, have now proven to be full of misinformation and untruths. Whether this is the fault of the media, the police, or both remains unclear. At the outset, Mr. Ashley was being painted by the DPD and media as a wild, intoxicated, wife beating, loony black man that most likely died of a drug overdose. The original police statement even said that officers attempted to use a taser, but it did not function properly. Sonny Jackson, DPD spokesman, then changed the story by stating, Mr. Ashley was hit with a “contact tasing” as opposed to being struck by Taser barbs. “A contact tasing is where you basically put the taser against the skin — and it only affects that area.”
Since the original reports, it has become apparent that Mr. Ashley was not beating on his wife, nor was he experiencing a drug induced psychotic episode, rather he was suffering from a heat stroke. According to Mr. Ashley’s girlfriend, Alonzo never was threatening her and was just trying to cool down from the heat by putting his head in the water fountain. What then occurred remains murky, however due to a witness statement acquired by Fox 31 , the story becomes even more horrific. She says, “There was first one bald police officer and you can see his arm going up and down hitting the guy, they were tasering him . They tasered him and then said stop resisting.”
Of course the DPD is claiming that Alonzo had super human strength and was swinging on the officers, but I don’t believe a fucking thing they say. They tried to pull the same shit with Marvin Booker, claiming he had extraordinary strength and kept resisting, but we all know now that that was complete bullshit.
This news is horrendous, but unfortunately not surprising. We all are well aware of DPD’s murderous ways. At best, Mr. Ashley was murdered while suffering from a heat stroke, which caused a confused cognitive state, and when attacked by security guards and DPD officers he defended himself.
Our deepest condolences to Mr. Ashley’s loved ones.
Community members, including civil rights activist Alvertis Simmons, the Rev. Patrick Demmer and pastor Reginald Holmes, announced Wednesday that they plan to hold a rally outside the zoo entrance beginning at 2 p.m. Friday. Be there to demand answers and an end to police brutality