Prosecutors clear Denver police officer in fatal shooting of unarmed man

Editor’s Note: Fuck the Denver Post. We repost this only to show a detailed report of what the investigation concluded, and to include a link to the article with the full statement from DA fuckhead, Mitch Morrissey. Fuck them all, especially DPD. Rest in Power Dion Avila Damon.

From the Denver Post:

Prosecutors said Thursday they will not file charges against a Denver officer who shot and killed and unarmed man in April.

Technician Jeffrey Motz shot Dion Ray Damon, 40, who was wanted for armed bank robbery and known as “Stryke” by fellow Gallant Knights Insane gang members, according to court records.

“A thorough review of the evidence gathered in this investigation shows that Technician Motz was legally justified in using deadly physical force under the facts and circumstances he faced,” Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey wrote in a letter announcing his decision. “I believe a jury would agree.”

The shooting happened on the southwest corner of Civic Center park during the busy lunch hour and while Damon was sitting in the driver’s seat of a Dodge Charger.

This photo provided by the Denver District Attorney's office of the scene shows Denver police vehicles pinning in the car where Dion Ray Damon was shot by Technician Jeffery Motz on April 12, 2016.
This photo provided by the Denver District Attorney’s office of the scene shows Denver police vehicles pinning in the car where Dion Ray Damon was shot by Technician Jeffery Motz on April 12, 2016.

Police said Damon ignored orders to get out of his car for nearly a minute before making a “threatening-type maneuver.” Damon’s partner and her son had been in the car before police surrounded them and the fatal shooting ensued.

Damon was shot three times, including once in the head and another time in the chest. Motz was the only officer to shoot during the encounter, and investigators say he fired seven shots from a .45-caliber handgun.

In an interview with investigators after the shooting, Motz said Damon quickly brought his hands together as he sat in a vehicle, according to Morrissey’s letter. Motz said that the motion was not the type a person would make to allow officers to see his hands or to surrender.

“Motz said he saw a handgun in Damon’s right hand and it was being directed toward him,” the letter said. “Motz said at this point he fired his gun at Damon.”

No gun, however, was found on Damon or in the vehicle he was in.

Morrissey notes the discrepancy in his letter, saying, however, that it was reasonable for Motz to believe Damon had a gun because Damon had recently shown his willingness to use a gun criminally during the bank robbery for which he was was wanted.

“In this dangerous factual context it makes no difference legally that Damon was not holding a gun,” Morrissey found. “An officer is not required by law to wait to be fired upon before firing in self-defense.”

Morrissey added: “I believe it was reasonable for Motz to believe that Damon was about to fire upon him with deadly force and his decision to shoot Damon was reasonable and legally justified self-defense under Colorado law.” 

Rest in Power Jordan Mactaggart and Levi Shirley

We are saddened to report that two people from the Denver metro-area were martyred recently, fighting Daesh with the YPG in northern Syria. Jordan Mactaggart has connections to some in our circles, as he was a young anarchist inspired by the revolution in Rojava, which makes this hit a little closer to home than usual. We send love and solidarity to his friends and family, and know that his young anarchist heart died with no regrets. Levi Shirley was the other recently martyred Coloradan, who also fought with the YPG. We don’t know if they knew each other, but all reports from the YPG is that they fought well and were dedicated warriors.

Rest in Power Levi and Jordan!

YPG statements for both martyrs:


The Rojava revolution became a revolution for humanity which attracted the attention of the world with the valiance of the resistance of YPG, YPJ and the people of Rojava. One of them was our comrade Agir Servan, of US origin.
Heval Agir Şervan (LEVI JONATHAN SHIRLEY) came to Rojava in February 2015 and joined the YPG. Hevale Agir took part in the Martyr Rubar Qamislo Operation, always in the most advanced front. After the liberation of the Kezwane Mountains he went back to his homeland. In January 2016, Hevale Agir came back to Rojava to the YPG and rejoined the revolution in the defence of the Kobani and Cizire cantons. After that, he joined the Martyr Abu Leyla Operation for the liberation of Minbij.
Hevale Agir was known for his discipline and sense of responsibility. His style and personality were a source of strength, motivation, and morale for his friends. In the fight, Hevale Agir was known and respected as a brave and altruistic person.
We can say that Martyr Agir strenghtend our brotherhood and fought for the freedom of an oppressed people. The sacrifice of our comrade Agir has enriched the democratic revolution being fought in Rojava, His name has been written in the history of our brotherhood. We offer our condolences to the family of Martyr Agir Servan and to all the Martyr’s families.

Nom de guerre: Agir Şervan
Real Name: Levı Jonathan Shırley
Name of the Mother: Susan
Name of the Father: Russ
Place of birth: Amerîka/ Nevada
Date and plac of martyrdom: 14.07.2016 Minbic

A farewell from a friend – Macer Gifford about Heval Agir

I first met Heval Agir (Levi Shirley) on the frontline in Til Tamar in 2015. Even though he had only been in the country a few weeks he had just got out of his first major firefight with the Islamic State.
His unit had come under a brutal and sustained night attack by ISIS fighters. Agir and his comrades had the higher ground so after a long night 12 Isis lay dead and only one Kurdish fighter was slightly wounded. It was a brutal introduction to the International Volunteers in Syria but it was exactly what Agir wanted. He came to fight and participate in the destruction of one of the most vicious ideologies of hate this world has ever seen.

Agir had been a proud member of the US marines. In fact, he talked of little else! I’m not sure I’ve met a greater patriot of America or someone who knew so much about its military history. He taught me a lot, particularly about the US tradition of fighting in foreign wars.

For him, the fight against ISIS was like the young Americans that joined the British airforce during the Second World War. The American Eagles weren’t content to sit out the war and watch the facists roll over Europe. In the same spirit, Agir couldn’t stay at home and watch while ISIS raped and murdered their way across Syria.

Agir had a determination to see you smile! He was always cracking jokes and doing impressions of the people around him. A few months ago – to boost morale – he did a comedy routine for a couple of Kurdish units on the frontline. He had people in stitches, to say he was loved would be a understatement.

This was his second time in Syria, nearly 1 year of fighting ISIS on the ground. He came before the Obama administration realised the significance of the YPG alliance and it’s ability to ‘degrade and destroy’ ISIS.

He came for no pay. For no public recognition or medals. He came knowing that he risked death and terrible injury at the hands of a brutal and remorseless enemy. Even with all this considered, it was in Agirs nature to risk all that to protect the innocent people that suffer the most.

When Americans hear about his sacrifice, I hope it gives them great pride. We are one human race that shares one planet. It’s about time people realised that liberty and justice aren’t just words, they’re a birth right. Agir knew that the West could have done more to stop ISIS years ago. He felt compelled to make a difference so he led by example and paid the ultimate price.

Rest in peace old friend, you died a Kurdish and American hero.


Remembering Sehid Ciwan Firat (Jordan Mactaggart)

Nom de guerre: Ciwan Firat
Real name: Jordan Mactaggart
Name of mother: Malissa
Name of father: Robert
Birthplace: Colorado / USA
Place and date of martyrdom: Minbic, 3. August 2016

I met Heval Ciwan for the first time when were waiting to cross the border into Rojava in spring 2014. He was a shy young anarchist from the US who sat in the corner of our hut, not really enganging with the rest of us and constantly writing in his journal. Quite frankly, at the time most of us were concerned that he wasn`t cut out for war but within a couple of weeks he proved all of us wrong. Soon after finishing his training he joined tabur Soran, a unit notorious for being in every fight possible. In one of his first contacts with the enemy he got shot in the leg and due to some unfortunate circumstances he was left in the field when his unit withdrew. Heval Ciwan put on his tourniquite on and crawled back to friendly lines the entire night. Amongst the foreign fighters in Rojava this story became a legend, until today people talk about `the American kid that got shot in the leg and crawled out all night`. During his second trip to Rojava Heval Ciwan keenly participated in every single operation possible and when we weren`t fighting Daesh he would mange to get into the skirmishes with the regime.
I never actually spent time with Heval Ciwan in a tabur but we would run into each other on a regular basis. He was always cheerful and content when most of us would be bitching about the food, the climate, battle tactics etc. I always had the feeling that Heval Ciwan was where he belonged, that he found his second home in the YPG, while many other foreign volunteers were just passing through. I know that it is not politically correct to say, but Heval Ciwan grew up and became a man as soon as he joined YPG and saw battle. In no time he became the type of guy you want to have around when things got bad.
Heval Ciwan was also known as `Born Dead` after the tattoo on his wrists, a tattoo that expressed his rather complicated relationship with death and dying which, frankly speaking, I never really understood. Nonetheless, whatever this realationship entailed, as everyone else who had the honour of knowing him in Rojava would agree, Heval Ciwan was a great fighter and a good friend who was taken from us way to soon.
Sehid Namirin – My friend, I will never forget you,

Baz Andok


Banner Drop: Remembering Ryan Ronquillo, 2 Years Later

On the two year anniversary of his death, family, friends, and supporters gathered to remember Ryan Ronquillo. Attendees placed flowers at the tree his car was against when he was gunned down outside of the Romero Funeral Home, by the Gang Unit of the Denver Police Department. Ryan was unarmed, attending the funeral of one of his best friends.

At the request of family, and as a gesture of solidarity, we dropped two banners on the fence facing the highway, which stayed up for two hours, until the time of Ryan’s death at 6:11pm on July 2nd. One read, “The Police are Denver’s Most Violent Gang. FTP” and the other read, “Justice for Ryan Ronquillo, Murdered by the Denver Police” with a picture of Ryan. There were many honks of approval, and many hugs and tears.

Ryan is another casualty of the ongoing class war and gentrification of Denver, enforced by the Denver Police Department. The Gang Unit is tasked with enforcing certain types of social affiliation, criminalizing crews of friends in communities that are poor, black, and brown, while they protect and encourage all kinds of clubs and gatherings of the white and affluent. This is one of the reasons you can have the legalization of marijuana, and see barely a change in the amount of black and brown residents who find themselves in the so-called criminal justice system for drug offenses. All this while white and affluent entrepreneurs from California, the Midwest, and the Northeast continue to move in record numbers and open weed shop after weed shop, with breweries, artisanal bakeries, yoga studios, and crossfit gyms following close behind.

We haven’t forgotten that often our crews of rebellious friends find ourselves facing off with gang unit pigs, watched and harassed as we attempt to live out in defiance of a world that destroys families with borders, cops, and prison cells. Our paths to this conflict might (sometimes) be different than those we find ourselves living and rebelling next to, but our enemies are the same.

We haven’t forgotten you Ryan, or the lives you touched in life and in death. Rest in Power.

For a world without cops, judges, borders, or prisons.

– some anarchists

Note from the editors: if you have any thoughts on Ryan, the DPD, or how the resistance in the wake of his death effected you, please submit it! We will happily publish it here,

Legal Update: Denver Anarchists Sign Pleas in Graffiti Case

After some new evidence and apparently constant phone calls from George Gray (of the DPD’S Gang Unit) to the ADA, two Denver-based anarchists have decided to accept a plea deal. The police allege that the majority, if not all, anti-police and anarchist graffiti found in a few mile radius can be traced back to just us two anarchists, once again making all of us seem more badass than we actually are. Its as if they believe the Alex Jones theory that we all receive paychecks from the Illuminati or some shit. If only we got paid to do this shit…

I plead to a class 1 misdemeanor destruction of property, with 12 months unsupervised probation, while my codefendant, having video evidence against them, received a class 6 felony criminal mischief with 18 months supervised probation. Both of us have to pay $2100 (joint and several) due by March 2017. A fundraiser to help us pay our restitution is forthcoming.

As always,
Smoke Cops, Not Weed


Manda a Trump a la Chingada! Send Trump to Hell!

We are asking everyone who opposes Donald Trump to assemble outside the convention center when he is scheduled to speak at the Western Conservative Summit.

We will be gathering near the big blue bear at 8am, shortly before Trump is scheduled to speak.

We will also be gathering there at 8pm, when the conference breaks, to give more good people a chance to demonstrate their opposition to Trump’s supporters’ reactionary politics.

Trump is not welcome in our town! Denver does not tolerate racism, sexism, Islamophobia, anti-immigrant hate, or any other part of the fascist trend that Trump is capitalizing on. We stand with queer communities grieving after the Orlando massacre. We stand with undocumented immigrants already facing deportation and marginalization. We stand with all those on the receiving end of police violence. We stand with Muslims being demonized by fear-mongering politicians and targeted by violent Trump supporters.

The threat is not only Donald Trump but all the racists, bigots, right-wingers, fundamentalists, and fascists who will gather at the Western Colorado Summit to hear his message.

We are not associated with the Clinton or Sanders campaign, or any campaign or party. We stand against Trump, Clinton, and the entire system that produced them both.


Schedule for the Western Conservative Summit: Friday, July 1st

8am – Registration, Exhibit Hall, Food Concession Open
10am – Morning Keynote Session in Mile High Ballroom (<<< when Donald Trump will be speaking)
12pm – Break
1:30pm – Workshop Series
3pm – Break
3:30pm – Workshop Series
5pm – Break
7pm – Evening Keynote Session in Mile High Ballroom
9:30pm – Break
10pm – Transform DJs concert in the Mile High Ballroom



Denver Anarchist Black Cross will be providing jail support. Donate to the bond fund here:

Join the Denver Action Network!

If you haven’t already, definitely jump on the Denver Action Network text loop! This is a user submitted, action alert text loop for the Denver metro area. Anyone can submit a radical, anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian event to the loop, where moderators will make sure it isn’t spam or a cop/fascist troll, and your event will immediately be texted to a ever growing list of folks in the city!

Just text @denveractionnet to the number 23559. to submit an event or action, just text it to the loop!

Also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

A note on security:

as with all things electronic, use common sense and good security culture when using this tool…since it is open to anyone joining it, there are definitely people who are not friends who get these texts. the moderators do their best to kick those folks off, but it isn’t air tight by any means. please use discretion.



At around 6 PM, friends and family as well as concerned community members gathered in the 1300 block of Bannock Street outside the Denver Art Museum, just feet from where Dion Avila Damon was killed on April 12th, 2016. Dion was unarmed and sitting in a parked car when Denver Police Technician Jeff Motz shot him seven times through the windshield.

April 12, 2016 shooting of Dion Avila Damon

Profile on DPD Technician Jeff Motz


Local organizers against police brutality in Denver spoke out about the legacy of murder and abuse by law enforcement in the region. Family members of other people murdered by law enforcement in Denver shared their own similar personal stories. Lynn Eagle Feather spoke about her son Paul Castaway who was killed by DPD last July. The gathering also heard from Natalia Marshall, whose uncle Michael Marshall was murdered by Sheriff’s Deputies in the Denver jail, as well as Vicki Trujillo, who lost her husband to a police killing, and was also a close friend of Jennifer Lobato who died in the Jefferson County, CO jail due to deliberate medical neglect. Dion Avila’s cousin, mother, brother and other family also spoke to the crowd.


While the families spoke, a tribute to Dion was spray painted behind them by an anonymous artist on a canvas made of plastic wrap stretched between two trees.


As the rally drew to a close the crowd moved into the streets behind banners and began to march.  The march went several blocks north and stopped at the Denver Police headquarters, the site of a police monument which has been vandalized with red paint by protesters for two consecutive years on February 14. A brief standoff ensued between police and protesters before the march resumed.

After leaving the Denver Police headquarters, the march moved into the streets and began heading towards the 16th street mall. In short order, police cars began making their way through the crowd, almost striking marchers, and officers on the ground led by District 6 Commander Tony Lopez began aggressively shoving protesters out of the street.  (Commander Lopez is currently facing a civil rights suit in federal court over allegations he stole a woman’s phone away from her while she was filming her husband’s violent arrest by Denver’s SWAT team at a protest in April 2015.)

The march proceeded to the 16th street mall and marched back to the site where Dion had been killed and a memorial raised. Within the hour during which the march took place, city employees had cut the memorial painting down off the trees where it had been hung.

Denver police followed and targeted individuals after they left the gathering, and made two separate arrests. This fits a long-established practice by DPD of opting not to make arrests during protests but instead to follow, snatch, and grab protesters as they head home or walk to their cars.

Unicorn Riot filed an open records request for any footage showing the killing of Dion Avila Damon on April 12 but our request was denied until the investigation into the shooting is completed by Denver Police, Aurora Police, and the Denver District Attorney. In his entire career Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has never indicted a single law enforcement official for any act of murder or violence.

This past Friday and Saturday, a faction of Anonymous known as “New World Hackers” conducted a series Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks against the City of Denver website as well as the Bank of Denver, taking down both sites for a period of time in retaliation for the shooting death of Dion.

Justice for Dion Avila Damon! Demo Tomorrow!

Demo tomorrow for Dion Avila Damon! Bring your love and your rage:

Dion was unarmed when a Denver cop, Jeff Motz, shot him seven times in front of his wife and her child. The Denver Police have attempted to justify Dion’s killing by citing “noncompliance” with commands given to exit the vehicle and an alleged “threatening-type maneuver.”

Jeff Motz was one of several police named in a lawsuit filed by a man who was shot in the back by Denver Police while laying face down on the ground in 2013. In 2003, Motz was one of eight Denver cops who shot at Shaun Gilman, killing the 20-year-old mentally ill man whose family called the police for help when he was having an episode.

On the two-week anniversary of his murder, on the spot where he was gunned down, we will gather with friends and family to remember Dion and to demand justice for him and all victims of police terror.

We must come together to demand Officer Jeff Motz be charged with murder and fired before he kills again.

When: Tuesday, April 26th, 2016, 6pm

Where: The site of his murder, 14th and Bannock

View the event on Facebook