The DA Dispatch
Office Updates from Your Denver DA

Coming Together to End Human Trafficking

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and we were pleased to start the year by announcing a $1.42 million federal dollar grant that we will share with the Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC). The demonstrated success of our and the Denver Police Department’s Human Trafficking Units was demonstrated by honored with this renewed grant. Our office will use the money to enhance the work of the unit and the work of the Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance (DATA) in identifying victims of human trafficking as well as along with hiring a new human trafficking investigator. The APDC will use its funding to provide more culturally-sensitive, and trauma-informed care for trafficking survivors.

 Denver DA Beth McCann

Regarding the grant, United States Attorney Cole Finegan said, “Human trafficking harms some of the most vulnerable members of our community, which is why funding programs like the Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance Task Force (DATA) with the Denver District Attorney’s Office and the Asian Pacific Development Center is a priority for the Department of Justice.”


We also announced that our Human Trafficking Unit has a new director, Ashley Morgan. Ashley has been an attorney with our office for more than a decade most recently working within our Organized Crime Unit. I am proud that the Denver DA’s Office is a national leader in stopping traffickers by holding traffickers accountable and helping victims access needed services.

During January we also joined with the Colorado Human Trafficking Council to raise awareness about the signs of trafficking. If you believe you may have information about trafficking activity, please contact Colorado’s Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 866.455.5075 or texting 720-999-9724. 

Our office staff lined up and dressed in blue.

Members of our office wore blue, which is the international color for

National Human Trafficking Prevention Day.

Watch my 9News interview: How many human trafficking tips convert to court cases?" Even if it's a gut feeling, call in the information to the hotline."

Colorado DA’s Meet with Congressional Members

DA McCann joined four other Colorado district attorneys from the 5th, 8th, 17th and 20th Judicial Districts and the executive director of the Colorado District Attorney’s Council for a trip to our nations’ capital. They met with many of Colorado’s congressional leaders for a day of advocacy. Among the topics discussed was the EQUAL Act which would eliminate the federal disparity between drug offenses involving crack cocaine and cocaine powder. The DAs also discussed the need for funding to support conviction review operations, residential substance abuse treatment for state prisoners, witness protection, family justice centers and fentanyl. The trip was coordinated through the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA). 

From left to right: CDAC Executive Director Tom Raynes, 20th JD DA Michael Dougherty, 8th JD DA Gordon McLaughlin, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, DA Beth McCann, 5th JD DA Heidi McCollum and 17th JD DA Brian Mason. 

Grand Jury Indictment

After hearing testimony from 17 witnesses and reviewing 140 exhibits, a grand jury indicted Denver Police Department Officer Brandon Ramos for an officer-involved shooting incident that occurred in LoDo on July 17, 2022. As a result, our office has opened a criminal case against Officer Ramos. Two other officers who fired their guns that night will not face criminal charges as both the grand jury and DA McCann concluded those officers’ actions were legally justified. The public’s interest in this particular shooting incident is understandably high. For the community to trust in the outcome from this incident, DA McCann believed it was important that independent members of the community review the facts, evidence and law regarding whether these officers should be criminally charged.

For the community to trust in the outcome from this incident, DA McCann believed it was important that independent members of the community review the facts, evidence and law regarding whether these officers should be criminally charged

Promoting More Effective, Just and Transparent Decision Making

In the December issue of the DA Dispatch, we told you about the launch of our new dashboard that allows anyone to explore our data and learn about things like case referrals, case outcomes, and performance indicators. Since the launch of our dashboard, we’ve added weekly data insights that examine the cases we are filing by the type of crime (i.e. weapons, property, drugs, sex assaults). On February 15th as a member of the Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboards Project, we announced a series of new reports that provide an even deeper understanding of racial and ethnic differences in the prosecution process. The new reports came from research that was were undertaken to understand whether race/ethnicity impacts how a case is resolved. We were pleased that the results of the new report mirror the findings from our two prior studies on race and justice. We constantly monitor our data with the goal of ensuring equity.


Explore our data and read the reports. 

DA McCann in the Classroom

Professor Amin Asfari recently invited DA McCann to his classroom of criminology students at Regis University to give an overview of our office. She talked about our office mission, our role in the criminal justice system, and outlined our office structure. The students heard about the number of criminal cases we handle, the work of our attorneys and staff in prosecuting a wide variety of cases, our specialty units, including juvenile and human trafficking and learned about our crime reduction strategies, such as diversion and restorative justice. They even got a glimpse of Bodhi, our facility dog – see more on Bodhi below.

DA McCann standing in front of classroom

DA McCann speaking at Regis University

Our Office Values Meaningful Work

One of our office values is ‘meaningful work’, which we define as work that is driven by justice, that helps the community, while incorporating our diverse perspectives. We are proud that Deputy DA Bilal Aziz upholds these values through his work as the head of our Bias-Motivated Crime Team. After the recent Club Q shooting tragedy in Colorado Springs, news outlets relied on his expertise to explain the issues surrounding charging bias-motivated crimes. Bilal regularly consults with the Denver Police Department when bias motivation – or a hate crime - appears to be behind property damage, threats of violence or assault. 

Photo of Deputy DA Bilal Aziz

“The victims of hate crimes and the communities with which they identify are frequently underserved and suspicious of law enforcement. Displaying to those communities that the Denver DA’s Office sees them and cares about what they go through will hopefully earn their trust over time,” says Bilal.


Read this article from the New York Times that features Deputy DA Bilal Aziz.

Meet our Newest Staff Member

We were pleased to begin 2023 by introducing Denver to Bodhi, a two-year-old Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever mix. Bodhi recently joined the office to provide emotional support to victims, witnesses and their family members. Bodhi is a highly-trained facility dog and is trustworthy in professional environments. He can perform more than 40 commands and aids in the investigation of crimes, in trial preparation and with courtroom testimony. Bodhi’s comforting presence helps people, and particularly children, survive their trauma and participate more openly and fully in the criminal justice process. As the nature of our work is often traumatic, Bodhi supports our employees’ well-being with every tail wag, game of fetch and belly rub.


We are grateful to Victim Advocate Shannon McFate who volunteered to be Bodhi’s handler, which required her to spend two weeks out of state to train with him. She provides Bodhi with day-to-day care and continues his on-the-job training.

CBS4: Bodhi, newest member of Denver DA's Office helps comfort crime victims

Photo of Bodhi wearing red and blue striped bowtie and his own employee badge

 Employee photo of Bodhi, our highly-trained facility dog

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