The Denver Police Department released body-worn footage showing officers shooting and killing 52-year-old Miguel Tapia, a transgender person armed with a knife, on June 16 at the intersection of Broadway and Lawrence Street.

The incident began with motorists reporting a person standing in the intersection. Police Chief Ron Thomas stated that officers initially attempted to use non-lethal means to stop Tapia, who was moving aggressively with an eight-inch blade.

Officers tried to de-escalate the situation in both English and Spanish. Despite commands to put down the knife, Tapia retrieved it from their bag and pointed it at the officers. Body-worn camera footage shows officers firing Tasers, which briefly impacted Tapia but failed to stop their advance.

Police Forced to Use Lethal Force After Tasers Fail on Armed Transgender Individual
Investigators found the knife, which had a blade approximately 7 inches long, according to police.

When the Tasers proved ineffective, officers switched to their handguns, fearing an imminent attack. Both officers and a supervising sergeant fired multiple rounds, totaling 12 shots in approximately 2 seconds, resulting in Tapia’s death.


The Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Colorado State Patrol are investigating the shooting, overseen by the Office of Independent Monitor and the Denver District Attorney’s Office.