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Black man detained for picking up trash outside Boulder home not surprised by new police data

Zayd Atkinson, the Naropa University student who was detained on his front doorstep for picking up trash, wasn’t surprised to hear the recently released statistics that black people are twice as likely to be stopped by Boulder police and once stopped, are twice as likely to be arrested.

Neither was Naropa president Charles Lief.

“If we hire new long-term staff or faculty of color, they inevitably have a surprise moment at some point in the first couple months they’re here,” Lief said. “It’s not just police directed, it’s the average citizen rolling down their window and yelling some racial epithet. It’s an issue.”

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