We and the family of Jimma Reat are gratified that Federal Judge RobertBlackburn has recognized the egregious and community shocking nature ofDenver’s 911 Operator affirmative actions that night in creating a fatal danger forhim that could also have killed his brothers and cousin.These kinds of cases can be difficult. Not all of them have the facts required toshock the judicial conscience and state a due process constitutional claim for thearbitrary confiscating of life, liberty, family and bodily integrity by a governmentemployee.But, as the Court has now found from the 911 tape itself, this case contains therequisite evidence to state this claim.Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty previously found that all the other factualelements for a federal danger creation claim were present, 5 out of 6 off them.He also found that evidence of willful, wanton, and reckless behavior violatingColorado state law was amply and plausibly alleged.We felt, however, that the Magistrate had set the bar for proving conscienceshocking behavior, the final element, too high and asked Judge Blackburn toreview the Magistrate’s Recommendation.On this main issue in this case, Judge Blackburn has now held that plausibleevidence of deliberately indifferent governmental conduct by a 911 operator thatrecklessly disregards a known risk of serious injury or death, that affirmativelycreates a dangerous emergency and produces such a tragic and preventablefatality, also states a claim for a substantive due process violation of the 14
Amendment.The Court stated that this ruling is well grounded in long established principlesannounced by the Supreme Court and the 10
Circuit.Denver’s 911 operator repeatedly instructed these car passengers that they hadto return to Denver to obtain police assistance as a condition of reporting theirearlier violent, racially motivated, assault by persons who had hurled beerbottles and bottle rockets which smashed out their back window, showered themwith glass and brandished a gun.Under these circumstances, and in shock himself from having been hit andeluding their attackers, Jimma Reat’s brother, Ran Pal, begged Denver’s 911Operator, Juan Rodriguez, to send the police to them at the safety of theirapartment. But Mr. Rodriquez refused to do so.