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Posted on: June 3, 2020

Letter to Community from Aspen Officials

letter anti racist

Read the Letter in Spanish (carta en espanol)


June 3, 2020

To the Aspen community, fellow Americans, and Aspen visitors,

Like many of you, we watched the needless death of George Floyd on video in disbelief. We recognize that systemic racism in our country has resulted in the needless deaths of black individuals and it must end.  We see, feel, and share the public’s anger, frustration, and despair. Our condolences go to Mr. Floyd’s family and all the families who have lost a loved one in this manner.  These deaths cannot be taken in vain. 

As your Aspen City Council, Aspen Police Chief and Aspen City Manager, we want to be clear.  Our community is for everyone. You are welcome.  You are safe.  Your rights are protected here.  The way we conduct ourselves professionally and personally in the City of Aspen means we carry out our duties ethically and with compassion. We ensure human decency. We ensure that our community is built upon positive relationships and mutual trust.  We treat all people equitably regardless of background, race, religion, political views, or orientation.  There is no room for racism and no room for personal violence in our mountain town.

Specifically, we want to say to all black individuals who live or visit here, we are your allies.  To that end, we will work hard to encourage and pass legislation that supports anti-racist policies and be inclusive in our policy making.

The legitimacy of Aspen Police Department is based on the trust the community places in it.  We never take your trust for granted.  The Police Department will continue to listen to our community and respond to support it.  Our officers are committed to focusing on the fair and respectful treatment of all people regardless of the color of their skin.

Undoubtably, we have much further to go as a society, nation, state, and community to remove systematic issues of bias and mistreatment in our criminal justice system. Please join us in doing so in positive dialogue to advocate for lasting change. We recognize that through partnership, honest communication, and expanding empathetic understanding of individual differences we can truly make a difference to be successful. We want to hear from you. We want to listen to how we, as your local law enforcement agency, local government, and local elected representatives can do a better job. Call us, email us, and visit us.  The invitation is always open. 

In service to Aspen and our community,

Torre, Mayor, torre@cityofaspen.com

Ward Hauenstein, Mayor Pro-Tem, ward.hauenstein@cityofaspen.com

Ann Mullins, Councilmember, ann.mullins@cityofaspen.com

Rachael Richards, Councilmember, rachael.richards@cityofaspen.com

Skippy Mesirow, Councilmember, skippy.mesirow@cityofaspen.com

Richard Pryor, Aspen Police Chief, Richard.pryor@cityofaspen.com

Sara Ott, Aspen City Manager, sara.ott@cityofaspen.com



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