Tag Archives: Boulder Shelter sex offenders

John Tweedy column in the Daily Camera, and my e-mail reply

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING SEX OFFENDERS!

By Max R. Weller

Read the commentary here. Copied below in its entirety:

John Tweedy For the Camera

John Tweedy For the Camera

“Were you ever raped?”

It was a terrible thing to shout from the back of the middle-school auditorium to the beleaguered spokeswoman trying to calm a frightened and angry crowd, assembled in response to the notification that “sexually violent predator” Christopher Lawyer has been released back into Boulder. But the question touched on an emotional reality missing from the various official efforts to reassure us that his current residence at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless is the least bad option available. Under the fear, dancing like electricity down the crowded aisles, breathed something heavier: some members of the audience themselves survived sexual assault.

I’m one of them. One summer afternoon in 1966, I was raped by a man who worked for my family. Hurt, scared, and ashamed, I never told my parents. The man quickly disappeared and was never confronted or caught. I can only assume he assaulted other kids. I was five.

That day privately but profoundly configured parts of my life, as the experience of rape at any age will do.

Thus, the label “sexually violent predator” gets my attention. But the work I’ve done to reconstruct my own history and heal my own trauma makes me especially aware that Mr. Lawyer is not simply a “predator.” He is a human being. Certainly complex — probably damaged, probably ill, hopefully struggling with remorse for a crime beyond cruelty. Assuming the best of him, he is no longer a rapist-in-waiting, but a man wanting a chance to begin anew. Assuming the worst, he will always be, as his label declares, a violent predator. The state of Colorado has put him through a process indicating the former. The community fears the latter. Like many, I do not understand his release.

Where do we go from here? The hard choice is the right one: we should accept him. By accept, I do not mean to forgive, or condone, or consider him “OK.” I do mean that we should realize, or remember, a few things.

First, beyond the danger he may individually pose, Mr. Lawyer’s presence among us symbolizes a more diffuse monstrosity that no public meeting can expel. The urge to rape blights the souls of men in many stations of society. It may stem from their own victimization, from mental illness, or from something else we helplessly call “evil.” Some rapists are sociopaths and perpetrate without qualm or remorse. Others battle against their secret selves with outward achievement and selflessness. Some rapists are homeless. Others are Ralphie-handlers, choirboys, star athletes, teachers or priests, whose cases we find “inexplicable.” Almost none announce in advance that they are “predators.” We can try to cast Mr. Lawyer and his label from our midst. But the rapists among us — and the sicknesses they carry — remain.

Second, the presenters at the community meeting were right: it is better to have Mr. Lawyer in a known location, with his ankle-monitor charged and his check-in bed established, than it is to have him calling in every night from a pay phone at an intersection, only to vanish. That’s what one of Boulder’s two other sexually violent predators currently does. Yes, we do have two others, and one of them is homeless, location unknown. I find that scarier than Mr. Lawyer’s situation, and yet there’s no uproar about it at all.

Third, he is a human being, and he has a legal right to exist. Each of us has the right to decide, based on our own history, how we feel about him today. But personal feelings should not dictate whom we include within our legal community. Christopher Lawyer is from here, and the law decrees that upon his release from custody he be returned here. A person whom the state has granted liberty has the right to exercise it, and a community that respects human rights should respect the rights of all. All means all.

I consider how I will feel, having published this, if Mr. Lawyer rapes again. The thought sickens me. I think of people who work in law enforcement and criminal justice, who face such prospects every day. In Mr. Lawyer’s mugshot, he is smiling. Perhaps it’s the vacant grin of a sociopath. Perhaps he’s hoping that a smile will persuade us that he’s committed to no longer being the person his label proclaims. Either way, he’s embarked on a journey back into the world. For all our sakes, I wish him success.

Email: john@landlockedfilms.com 

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My e-mail to Mr. Tweedy is copied below:

Dear Mr. Tweedy,

In reply to your column in the Daily Camera — it’s very frustrating for me to read yet another well-intended opinion from somebody who has a false impression of what really happens at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. I speak from years of experience as a homeless man here in Boulder, CO who knows about BSH firsthand over that stretch of time.

NOBODY on staff there actually has either the training or experience to serve as a de facto corrections officer. A homeless shelter is not a halfway house. In fact, Christopher Lawyer will not be watched at all, and if he chooses to abscond from the Shelter only his monitoring device will alert the authorities. We must note recent history involving another Sexually Violent Predator, Kerry Whitfield.

I’m bothered by your statement, “I consider how I will feel, having published this, if Mr. Lawyer rapes again.” How will the new victims of Mr. Lawyer feel? Why should anybody give a tinker’s damn how you might feel? This is so very Boulder on your part, Mr. Tweedy. We have every right to protect the most vulnerable among us from predators!

You’re also overlooking the fact that Mr. Lawyer has his well-connected mother attempting to influence public officials on his behalf. Your “compassion ” is superfluous. Mr. Lawyer should NOT have been paroled this soon.

Please reconsider your support for the dark side . . .

Max

There you have it, and now I think I’ll go into the restroom here at our Main Library and puke. The thought that a vulnerable homeless woman or female staff member at BSH could be attacked next is nauseating — Mr. Lawyer doesn’t even need to abscond from the facility! Mr. Tweedy needs an attitude adjustment, along with many other Boulderites suffering from what I’ll call Compassion Derangement Syndrome. A pox on all of ’em!

‘Rapist Christopher Lawyer, after trying Jamestown and Longmont, now moving to Boulder [Shelter for the Homeless]

Another sex offender at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless — this one paid for by Colorado DOC, and Greg Harms (executive director) is once again putting financial greed ahead of neighborhood safety.

By Max R. Weller

Read the disturbing news in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

Christopher Lawyer

Christopher Lawyer (Boulder Police Department)

After failed attempts to move to Jamestown and then Longmont, Christopher Lawyer — a convicted rapist who has completed his prison sentence — is coming to Boulder to stay at the city’s homeless shelter.

Lawyer, 42, has secured a parole bed at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless at 4869 Broadway, according to the Boulder Police Department.

Police spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly said the department is trying to work with Lawyer’s parole officer to determine how long Lawyer plans to stay at the shelter. If Lawyer resides at the shelter for an extended period of time, Cordingly said the department will schedule a meeting to discuss it with the public.

Lawyer initially petitioned to live in the Bar-K neighborhood near Jamestown upon his release from prison in late April, but that move was met with strong opposition from Jamestown residents who argued the remoteness of the town meant it had limited cell service and was 30 to 40 minutes away from any police response.

The move to Jamestown ultimately was rejected by the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Lawyer then moved to Longmont, but de-registered Monday with Longmont police and registered in Boulder.

Longmont police had announced over the weekend that Lawyer would not be living in that city after all, but did not explain why. Officials with the Colorado Department of Corrections did not return requests for comment Monday.

The last time Lawyer was out in the community in September, he lived with his mother at 1265 Mallard Court east of Boulder. But he was sent back to prison for 180 days in December after he was found to have violated his parole by possessing pornography.

Lawyer is believed to be the first person convicted in Boulder County to be labeled a “sexually violent predator” — a designation given by judges or the parole board to certain sex offenders who exhibit personality traits authorities contend make them likely to commit further offenses.

In 2000, Lawyer kidnapped a Boulder woman who was delivering newspapers at the Gold Run apartments, forced her into her vehicle and taped her eyes and mouth shut. Lawyer drove the woman to another location, raped her for more than an hour at gunpoint and attempted to make casual conversation afterward.

The day before the rape, Lawyer forced his way into a University Hill home and attempted to rape another woman, police said. That woman was injured, but managed to escape.

Lawyer pleaded guilty in 2001 to first-degree sexual assault, second-degree assault and misdemeanor menacing in connection with the rape of the newspaper carrier.

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Mr. Lawyer joins many other registered sex offenders in residence at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (4869 N. Broadway) and also at Boulder Community Treatment Center (1770 21st St.). Others are simply listed on the Boulder Police Sex Offender Registry as homeless.

The fact is that NO LAW REQUIRES a homeless shelter to house any convicted sex offender; most shelters across the country have long since refused them. Greg Harms chooses instead to accept them for $$$ and because he can — and I personally believe he has a deep-seated antipathy to anyone from the neighborhood who dares to call into question the Shelter’s greedy rapist-friendly policy. It’s certain that Mr. Harms despises the Homeless Philosopher . . . That feeling is indeed mutual.

That’s Greg Harms in the center, catching a nap at a Boulder City Council meeting.

Contact the executive director and/or the director of programs at their e-mail addresses:

At Boulder Shelter — MONEY is the driving force behind policymaking. If you’re a donor, please rethink your support for this so-called nonprofit.

(This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council.) 

Denver cracks down on 16th Street Mall

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

Max R. Weller

Read the report in the Denver Post: Denver going after “scourge of hoodlums” on 16th Street Mall. Excerpt follows:

Citing a “scourge of hoodlums” on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, city officials on Monday announced new plans to ramp up security, including stopping people from leaning on walls and calling animal control when people are loitering with dogs.

The plan also includes the addition of more uniformed officers on the mall, from the Denver Police Department and from private security, which will be hired by the Denver Downtown Partnership.

Mayor Michael Hancock said the crackdown is coming because of bad behavior from “urban travelers,” whom he described as a scourge of hoodlums who are pushing the boundaries of the law. Others describe the urban travelers as primarily young people who travel between cities seeking a carefree lifestyle with no desire to hold jobs, mortgages or bank accounts.

“I know people will try to twist who and what we are talking about here today,” Hancock said during a news conference at the Downtown Denver Partnership’s office. “We are not talking about Denver’s homeless. We’re not talking about those on the corner asking for money.”

The travelers often arrive in Denver around April 20, in time for the annual marijuana celebration, and they stick around for the warmer months before moving down the road. Since 2014, there has been an increase in their numbers, said Denver police Cmdr. Tony Lopez, whose district includes downtown.

“They are intimidating those who want to enjoy the mall,” Hancock said.

White described the travelers as “aggressive and offensive” and said, “they’ve been disrespectful to even our police officers in uniforms to be honest with you. We’re at the point where enough is enough. We’re not going to tolerate it for one more second.”

See Violent confrontation on 16th Street Mall caught on video from Fox31 in Denver.

This is the same situation Boulder has been struggling with for years, with transient predators committing violent crimes such as rapes and stabbings; other homeless people they perceive as weaker are frequently their victims. Most of the troublemakers in Denver also travel here to our fair city, filling all available emergency shelter space in wintertime and consuming other resources. Unfortunately, Boulder’s homeless shelter / services industry refuses to require valid photo ID with a Boulder County address and instead serves anybody who can stagger through the door, including sex offenders from other states. MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY.

Enabler-in-chief of the worst-behaved transients, heading an organization which spends millions of dollars annually at the same time the number of homeless in Boulder is increasing. And Bridge House has plenty of company:

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“Sexually Violent Predator” Kerry Whitfield is from Denver.

I doubt any serious crackdown will ever occur in Boulder until one of the elites falls victim. Then, the do-gooders just might wake up to reality!

rainbowsunicorns

Parents in the Dakota Ridge neighborhood please take note, and more

A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING

By Max R. Weller

These are the two white males I referred to in my previous post:

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There are many other registered sex offenders (including child molesters) who either stay in the First Step/Transition Program at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, 4869 N. Broadway, or who use it as a mailing address and for morning services like showers, breakfast, locker access, etc. See the Boulder PD online sex offender registry.

I provide this info solely so that those citizens living in the neighborhood can be wary of the dangers present. I am firmly opposed to vigilantism in any case. However, feel free to join me in both spoken and written criticism of the apologists/enablers at BSH, who literally don’t give a damn about being good neighbors.

You kindhearted passersby on the corner of U.S. 36 who have been handing out cash to Messrs. Funk and Gibson might want to reconsider your generosity . . .

It’s time once again for Boulder PD to evict all of the RV squatters who have been illegally parking their broken-down vehicles — and living in them both day and night, also illegal within the city limits — on Front Range Dr. directly to the west of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. This is an annual occurrence, but the police seem to be a bit behind schedule dealing with it in 2015.

I have an idea for another short story, which would be based on real events playing out over the course of the next few months. It would require the help of others directly involved, so we’ll see what happens.

Count the motor vehicles in this photo, then count the bicycles, then tell me what mind-altering substances the city’s transportation planners are ingesting:

Emily Ely rides toward downtown Boulder last week after the city completed its

Emily Ely rides toward downtown Boulder last week after the city completed its “right-sizing” lane changes on Folsom Street. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

I think they might be overdosing on ‘shrooms, even though they’ve decided to delay WRONG-SIZING at Iris & 63rd.

Tonight at my campsite: Sausage gravy on white bread (since the biscuits at King Soopers are terrible).