Fountain mayor mourns officer Becerra’s death, calls crime law ‘soft and permissive’

Fountain mayor mourns officer Becerra’s death, calls crime law ‘soft and permissive’

Feb. 12—Fountain Mayor Sharon Thompson mourned the death of Officer Julian Becerra on Sunday and issued a scathing rebuke of Colorado’s justice system that, she says, fostered the conditions that led to his death.

On Saturday, Becerra, 35, died from injuries he suffered when he fell off a bridge while chasing carjacking suspects earlier this month. It was the first line-of-duty death in the Fountain Police Department since Officer John Lindamud was shot by a burglar in April 1921.

“This morning, I expressed my sincere condolences on the loss of Officer Julian Becerra and wanted to reiterate how much his family and friends are in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time,” Thompson said Sunday from Fountain City Hall. “Fountain is forever grateful for his service to our community.”

Thompson then directed his remarks toward the citizens of Fountain, acknowledging growing concerns about crime in the community.

“I know that many of us are experiencing the seeming increase in crime around our communities and are concerned about what can be done to ensure the safety of our streets, neighborhoods, homes and families,” he said. “Make no mistake: the current environment for our law enforcement is more challenging and dangerous than ever. Violence is on the rise, serious crimes are often being committed by repeat offenders — dangerous criminals on our streets.”

According to Thompson, Becerra was fatally injured while pursuing the suspects who, because of their criminal history, should have been in jail.

“The suspects on the night Officer Becerra was seriously injured were repeat offenders with multiple active warrants for their arrest,” he said.

“They shouldn’t have been out on the streets in the first place, but because of the lack of accountability in our justice system, and the failed bail reform initiative, they were allowed to prey on our citizens and create the conditions that put Officer Becerra on the bridge that night. “

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Law enforcement efforts in Fountain and across the state are being hampered by Colorado drug laws that haven’t done enough to keep illegal drugs off the streets, Thompson said.

“Laws like this empower criminals and make law-abiding citizens more vulnerable to those who might harm us,” he said. “Such an environment, coupled with increasingly hostile attitudes, openly shared by our entire law enforcement community, has created a thriving environment for emboldened criminals and collectively undermined our safety.”

“We have to do something now to turn it around.”

Thompson urged community members to help police and first responders by reporting crimes immediately when they see them and by pushing elected officials to follow tougher anti-crime laws.

“Tell them you want more protection from criminals, not leniency and permissiveness,” he said.

“I want to let everyone know that the City of Fountain is unwavering in our commitment to ensure your safety and security. We will never stop in our continued efforts to provide the best-trained, equipped and professional public safety services available to our community.”

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