DENVER (CBS4)– A church community came together on Sunday to celebrate leaders who provide justice and to demand justice for one family they say was wronged by the Denver Sheriff Department.
The congregation of Shorter Community African Methodist Episcopal Church prayed for the family of Michael Lee Marshall, who died in November 2015 in the custody of sheriff’s deputies.
The coroner has ruled Marshall’s death a homicide.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday, Pastor Dr. Timothy Tyler honored community members who wear the “Shoes of Justice.” One award was presented to a Denver police officer.
Tyler also welcomed the family of Marshall, 50, who died last November after an incident at the Denver jail.
The congregation pledged to support the family in demanding answers from officials.
“We will not allow them to rest until this family sees that video, and until this family gets justice for the death of Michael Lee Marshall,” said Tyler.
“He was a phenomenal, amazing, supportive person,” said Natalia Marshall, the niece of Michael Marshall.
Marshall’s family says the department has refused to provide to them the jail video showing the incident with deputies that allegedly led to Marshall’s death.
“It’s just not right the way they’re keeping this away from us,” said Rodney Marshall, the brother of Michael Marshall. “I mean, we deserve to know what happened.”
Until then, they’re left to wonder how a 112 pound mentally ill street preacher ended up dead in the custody of law enforcement.
“What we have seen is a cover up,” said Mari Newman, attorney for the Marshall family. “And it is extraordinarily disappointing following so closely in the footsteps of the Denver Sheriff’s killing of Marvin Booker. It’s just appalling that we see the same thing happening yet again.”
CBS4 asked the Denver Sheriff Department for comment. According to a spokesperson, the department is committed to a thorough investigation and transparency into what happened.