Newsmatch Public Interest

Author: Stephen Hall

Chaffee County Combined Agency Tactical Team at heart of “Excessive Force” Lawsuit

In a news story first reported late Monday, February 27, by The Denver Post, a “Chaffee County man” filed an excessive force lawsuit against all three Chaffee County Law Enforcement Agencies along with 13 officers employed by those agencies.
The lawsuit stems from a September 8, 2022, incident where the Chaffee County combined agency tactical team commonly known in most police departments as a Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Team executed a “high risk” traffic stop on county resident Ellis Athanas’ vehicle.

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Schoolhouse Incident Report Update: Our Ethical Role as News Media to get the Facts Straight

This misrepresentation combined with an unnecessary exposure of confidential information undermines public trust in journalism, exacerbates an already tense situation, and adds to a media ecosystem rife with mis/disinformation. Specifically, it can create or add to potentially harmful media space for children. According to an August 2021 report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), children are particularly vulnerable to mis/disinformation and mis/disinformation increasingly leads to real world consequences many times involving violence.

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