IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — More than a dozen people gathered at Citizens Park in downtown Idaho Springs Saturday morning to call for changes within the city's police department.
"It's been stressful, hell, torture and sad and lonely," Cynthia Flageolle said.
She is the daughter of 75-year-old Michael Clark. His attorney filed a lawsuit against Idaho Springs Police for using excessive force during an incident in May. He's still suffering from the injuries he sustained that night.
"He has some brain damage, and he had to have emergency brain surgery from the trauma to his head. We won't know for quite some time how much of that damage is permanent. But he is stable and he's not ready to give up this fight, which is amazing," Flageolle said.
Brady Mistic, whose story recently made national headlines, was also in the crowd.
His lawsuit alleges police attacked him, slammed him to the ground and Tased him because he couldn't hear their commands. This happened during a traffic stop in September 2019.
Mistic, who is deaf, had Flogeolle read a brief statement at the demonstration.
"He would like to thank everybody for being here. He would also say that [Idaho Springs Police] must get the training to interact with deaf, handicapped, elderly and every civilian there is," Flogeolle said on Mistic's behalf.
The two officers involved in both incidents were Nicholas Hanning and Ellie Summers. The department has since fired Hanning, but Summers remains on the job.
"There's a lot of people [in Idaho Springs] who don't want to call the police because they don't feel safe, and that's not OK," Flogeolle said.
The demonstrators are calling for Summers' firing and for a third-party investigation into the department's patterns and practices.
"The abuse and misuse of authority and power is a sin," demonstrator Jack Veatch, a reverend with Evergreen Christian Church, said. "We should be able to turn to people in authority and feel as though we will be safe and secure in those interactions."
They won't give up until their message is heard.
"This has been happening for a long time, and a lot of things have gone unnoticed or pushed under the rug," Flogeolle said. "It needs to change."
Denver7 reached out to the chief of the Idaho Springs Police Department for comment about the demonstrators' demands but had not yet received a response as of Saturday afternoon.