Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post

Elise Schmelzer

The Denver Post

Contact Elise

Discover and connect with journalists and influencers around the world, save time on email research, monitor the news, and more.

Start free trial

  • The Denver Post
  • East Bay Times
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Vacaville Reporter
  • Boston Herald
  • Pasadena Star News
  • Times-Standard
  • Pioneer Press
  • The Daily Democrat
  • The Cannabist
  • Casper Star-Tribune
  • Washington Post
  • and more…

Recent articles by Elise:

12 more protesters sue Denver over police response to 2020 protests as statute of limitations draws near

Twelve more injured protesters sued Denver Tuesday alleging police officers needlessly gassed them and shot them with projectiles without warning during the 2020 protests of the murder of George Floyd. → Read More

Bus terminal was called a ‘lawless hellhole.’ Have 1,200 arrests and citations changed anything?

Denver police made 828 arrests and issued 390 tickets in the vicinity of Union Station in the six-month period between Nov. 1 and April 30. → Read More

Colorado families say police fail to investigate fentanyl deaths as law enforcement seek action from legislature

Colorado families have said that police seemed disinterested in investigating their loved ones’ fentanyl deaths. It’s raised questions at the Capitol about the credibility of a law enforcement community that insists on new legislative “tools” to cut off drug sales. → Read More

How the growing fentanyl crisis in Colorado has scarred a student, a mother, a daughter, a friend

The number of fentanyl deaths in Colorado has increased more than tenfold in the past five years — from 81 in 2017 to more than 900 in 2021 — and there is no indication the fatalities are slowing → Read More

Former Aurora police Chief Dan Oates named interim chief while city searches for permanent hire

The man who led the Aurora Police Department through the 2012 theater shooting will take his old job back temporarily as interim chief while the city seeks a new leader following the firing of Chief Vanessa Wilson. → Read More

Police bust alleged Denver-area sex trafficking ring after report from surprised spa customer seeking massage

Three Coloradans face felony charges for allegedly running a sex trafficking ring through four Denver-area massage parlors and laundering the profits from forcing several women to provide sex services. → Read More

Here’s what experts say can lower fentanyl use and overdose deaths — and what policies don’t work

Experts interviewed by The Denver Post said lawmakers and law enforcement need to think outside of the box when addressing fentanyl. → Read More

Jury that awarded $14 million to injured protesters had “no disagreement” that Denver was liable, juror says

After three weeks of trial, all eight jurors who awarded $14 million to protesters injured during the 2020 George Floyd protests agreed without debate that Denver was at fault for its officers' actions, according to one of the jurors in the room. → Read More

Aurora city manager told Chief Vanessa Wilson he wants to discuss her departure, attorney says

Aurora’s city manager this week asked Chief Vanessa Wilson to meet to discuss an exit strategy more than two years after she was selected to lead and reform the city’s embattled police department, the chief’s attorney said Friday. → Read More

Colorado legislature's plan to combat fentanyl includes harsher penalties for dealers, treatment

A new, bipartisan statehouse bill that will be unveiled this week includes stiffer criminal penalties for those who distribute fentanyl -- though not for those who merely possess it -- and millions of dollars for life-saving Narcan and naloxone, test strips and jail-based drug treatment. → Read More

Denver records highest number of homicides since 1981 — again — as arguments, domestic violence, drugs fueled killings

Ninety-six people died in Denver homicides last year, the highest number recorded since 1981 and a toll that's left dozens more families devastated by the elevated level of violence that's ripped through the city over the past two years. → Read More

Victim’s “very threatening” actions fueled decision to drop murder charge in Denver protest shooting, DA says

Denver prosecutors decided to drop the murder charge they filed against an unlicensed security guard who fatally shot a man at a 2020 political rally in part because of the victim's threatening actions immediately before the shooting. → Read More

Woman injured in road-rage shooting in Commerce City; suspect on the run

One person was injured in a road-rage incident that escalated into a shooting Thursday morning in Commerce City. → Read More

This Coloradan was a “propagandist” for the Oath Keepers. Now he’s speaking out against the extremist militia tied to Jan. 6.

Jason Van Tatenhove worked as a spokesman for the Oath Keepers, an extremist militia organization. Years after leaving, he's speaking out against the group as its top leaders face charges for participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. → Read More

Five found dead in Colorado apartment likely overdosed on fentanyl, DA says

Preliminary testing and other evidence suggest the five victims believed they were ingesting cocaine Sunday and did not realize the drug had been laced with fentanyl. → Read More

2,700 calls later, Denver’s acclaimed program that provides an alternative to police response is expanding

The Denver City Council on Monday voted unanimously to approve a $1.4 million contract with the Mental Health Center of Denver for the program’s continuation and expansion. → Read More

Former Fairview High School student sentenced to jail for raping 3 fellow students in case at center of lawsuit

Judge Kenneth Plotz sentenced the defendant, who was a minor at the time he committed the crimes, to 90 days in the county jail, two years of probation, sex offender treatment and 90 hours of community service. → Read More

Former police sergeant sentenced to jail for buying rifle for man who detonated bombs in Colorado neighborhoods

A retired Colorado police sergeant will spend three months in jail for knowingly buying a rifle for a felon who a few months later detonated two bombs in residential neighborhoods. → Read More

Colorado lawmakers want to make it harder for retail thieves, porch pirates to sell stolen loot online

Colorado lawmakers want to discourage organized rings of thieves from stealing by making it harder for them to resell their loot via online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist and Facebook. → Read More

“He looks like a turd”: Denver police racially profiled Black driver, lawsuit alleges

A Black man sued the city of Denver on Thursday alleging three police officers racially profiled him, illegally searched his car and violated his constitutional rights when they arrested him while … → Read More