337 troopers trained on search, seizure after Kemp shooting
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office says more than 300 members of the Colorado State Patrol have received training on the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and related search and seizure issues, consistent with a lawsuit settlement with the family of Jason Kemp, the unarmed Redlands man who was shot and killed in his home in 2010.
A letter from First Assistant Attorney General Julie Selsberg, which was sent to the Colorado branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, details training provided to 337 state troopers during 13 sessions starting in August 2012 through the end of this past September.
The training sessions, done in four-hour blocks at the State Patrol’s academy in Golden, have involved everyone from command staff down to the agency’s frontline troopers. The entire agency must receive the training, under terms of the Kemp settlement.
The settlement also says the state of Colorado must provide periodic updates to ACLU. The organization represented Kemp’s family in a federal wrongful death lawsuit, which was settled in January and included a $1 million payout to Kemp’s family.
“The schedule of presentations continues through March of 2014,” Selsberg said in the letter.
ACLU Denver legal director Mark Silverstein said CSP appears to be following the settlement in letter and spirit, but hopes the agency goes further.
“It would be even better if they had training replicating the set of facts in Jason’s case,” Silverstein said. “It would represent I think a more complete institutional acknowledgment that what happened on that day was wrong.”
Kemp, 31, was fatally shot July 20, 2010, in the front doorway of his home on Glade Road by then-trooper Ivan “Gene” Lawyer. Lawyer and Cpl. Kirk Firko, who were both prosecuted, pounded and kicked at the front door as Kemp refused entry, demanding they get a warrant. The troopers were investigating a non-injury crash in which drunken driving was suspected. The incident happened near Kemp’s home, and Kemp was the suspected driver.
Lawyer was acquitted in April 2010 on state criminal charges. Prosecutors dropped a case against Firko.
Both were later fired by the State Patrol.