Grand Junction, COLO (KKCO)__ The Colorado ACLU announced a settlement agreement with Colorado State Patrol to resolve a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Jason Kemp. Kemp was shot and killed on the Redlands in 2010 when he refused to allow state troopers in his home.
As part of a settlement the Colorado State Patrol will pay more than $1 million to Jason Kemp's family and will implement new training for law enforcement officers. According to a release from the ACLU, the training will "include specific instruction on the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment and its limited exceptions."
“ACLU lawyers were prepared to prove not only that state troopers violated the Constitution when they unjustifiably kicked in Jason Kemp’s front door and shot and killed him, but also that supervisors all the way up the chain of command were responsible for recklessly deficient training that was the ultimate cause of this needless and preventable death,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. To its credit, the State Patrol has now agreed to major policy and training reforms—which ACLU will monitor–aimed at ensuring that all state troopers are thoroughly instructed on the limits of their constitutional authority. It is our hope that these reforms will prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.”
In 2011, a Mesa County grand jury indicted Firko and Lawyer for their actions in connection with Jason’s death, but the criminal charges were dismissed. “The result of the criminal cases meant that the ACLU’s civil action was the family’s only path to justice for Jason Kemp,” said Paul Karlsgodt, the ACLU Cooperating Attorney who led the litigation team.
Statements of the parents of Jason Alan Kemp:
Connie Kemp, mother of Jason Alan Kemp:
Ms. Kemp says, “I want to thank Baker Hostetler for working pro bono in cooperation with the Colorado ACLU to protect the public and provide hope for all the families affected by injustice against them. We are gratified that the legal costs incurred by this long, arduous fight have been donated to the ACLU. I want to say thank you to the ACLU on behalf of my son Jason and encourage the public to continue to support the Colorado ACLU. They collectively empower every citizen of Colorado.”
Keith Kemp, father of Jason Alan Kemp:
Mr. Kemp says, “Many of our constitutional rights are in place to protect us from the government. The Colorado State Patrol are to protect and serve. Instead they violated the constitution and in the process ended Jason’s life. Jason died asserting his constitutional rights. Because the criminal charges filed against the state troopers were dismissed, this lawsuit was the only way to shine light on the injustice Jason suffered. The ACLU was instrumental in having the state of Colorado and the CSP change their way of doing business. With the ACLU’s vigilance, I hope no more lives will be lost.”