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Protesters carry black coffins, that represent local lives lost, to the Colorado Springs Police Department during a funeral procession honoring the lives taken by Colorado Springs Police Department on Thursday, June 11, 2020. Protesters gathered at City Hall and placed black coffins at doorways to the building before they marched to the Colorado Springs Police headquarters to place the remaining coffins outside the front doors of the station. The Colorado Springs City Council informally selected new members to a Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission, a group formed following calls for police reform.

The Colorado Springs City Council came to an informal consensus Monday on the members of a new committee that will make recommendations on police reforms. 

The tentative 11 board members and two alternates of the Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission were selected by the council from an original pool of about 800 applicants. 

"We were incredibly impressed with the applicants at every stage of the process," Councilman Wayne Williams said during a special meeting to further refine the list. The council will vote to appoint commission members on Sept. 22.  

Council members said they prioritized people with balanced perspectives and diverse voices to sit on the commission that was formed in response to the Black Lives Matter protests organized after the death of George Floyd, a black man, who died the custody of white police officers in Minneapolis in May. 

The commission will be charged with assisting city council members with budget appropriation and resource allocation using audits of law enforcement performance, and serving as a channel for residents and the police department to share concerns. The board will also provide policy recommendations and promote improved understanding and relationships between the police department and the public.

The commission will not review or propose disciplinary actions or function as an independent oversight committee in any way.

Mayor John Suthers' administration and the police department are committed to assisting the commission in its work, said Jeff Greene, the mayor's chief of Staff. 

"We welcome the work of this commission and we look forward to the recommendations that will come from this commission," Greene said. 

The council tentatively selected the following people for the commission:

Joe Aldaz, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Hispanic Business Council, who wrote in his application that it is critical for minority leaders to work together. Aldaz is Hispanic and lives in northeast Colorado Springs. 

Kate Angulski, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, who said in her application she could bring research and objectivity to help develop solutions to issues in policing. Angulski is white and lives in northeast Colorado Springs.

Justin Baker, a lumberjack, who wrote in his application he helped organize the local demonstrations after the Floyd death and contributed to the proposal for the new board. Baker is Black and lives in southeast Colorado Springs.   

Rachael Flick, a counselor and the widow of El Paso County Sheriff Deputy Micah Flick, who was killed on the job in 2018.  Flick is white and lives in southwest Colorado Springs. 

Janice Frazier, a human resources diversity specialist for Colorado Springs School District 11 who also leads a nonprofit that promotes equality and opportunities for socio-economically disadvantaged, according to her application. Frazier is Black and lives in southeast Colorado Springs. 

Steve Kern, a retired Palmer High School teacher who helped students understand the influence of bias and the role of moral intuition in decision making, according to his application. Kern is white and lives in central Colorado Springs. 

Terry Martinez, a retired administrator in District 11 who previously ran for Colorado Springs City Council and House District 18. Martinez is Hispanic and lives in southwest Colorado Springs, according to his application. 

Dennis Moore, retired program management analyst who served as the Colorado Springs Police Department Neighborhood Watch coordinator and on the Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee, his application said. Moore is Black and lives in southeast Colorado Springs. 

Luis Velez, retired chief of the police departments in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, who said in his application he can bring practical knowledge from his career and academic knowledge from his dissertation on police use of force to the commission. Velez is Hispanic and lives in southwest Colorado Springs. 

Deborah Walker, executive director of the Citizens Project, who was involved in advocating for improved police accountability before the protests and is a member of the Chief's Community Leaders Steering Committee in Colorado Springs, her application said. The Citizens Project is a nonprofit that advocates for social justice. Walker is white and lives on the northwest side of then city.  

Brent Windebank, a college student, grocery clerk and coach, who said in his application he helped organize the demonstrations for police reforms in Colorado Springs and helped draft the proposal for the commission. Windebank is white and lives in northern Colorado Springs.

The tentative alternatives for the board are:

Rosita Camargo, a marijuana budtender, former truancy officer and former life skills coordinator at Youth Shelters and Family Services in Santa Fe, whose application cited her 10 years of working with the homeless and people with addictions. Camargo is Hispanic and lives in southeast Colorado Springs. 

Felicia Embry, a self-employed health and wellness coach and personal trainer, who had the police successfully work with her mentally ill son to get him to the hospital on several occasions, she said in her application. She is Black and lives in central Colorado Springs. 

Contact the writer at mary.shinn@gazette.com or (719) 429-9264.

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