One year ago, Alonzo Ashley exhibited the symptoms of dehydration while on a trip to the zoo. He stopped at a water fountain to splash water on his head, when an employee of the zoo approached him and asked if he wanted help. Ashley asked to be left alone, but his attitude so offended the staffer that they called security, who called the Denver police. The police tased and tackled Ashley, who died from dehydration- the coroner ruled that this was a homicide.
Police insist that he assaulted his girlfriend, the security staff and the police, and that he had drugs and drug paraphernalia on him- accusations all disputed by Ashley’s girlfriend, who was present at the time of Ashley’s death but wishes to remain anonymous. One year later, there have been no repercussions for any of the officers involved and absolutely no evidence of drug or paraphernalia possession released (not that a joint in his pocket would justify being murdered by the police).
Alonzo Ashley’s family remembers him, and so does his community. The police who killed him may want us to forget, the zoo may continue with business as usual, and the city may ignore him entirely- but we remember Alonzo Ashley.