A sheriff’s deputy died of COVID-19 aged just 33 weeks after making multiple statements criticizing coronavirus vaccines and their effectiveness.
Daniel ‘Duke’ Trujillo, 33, died of COVID complications with his family by his side on Wednesday, the Denver Sheriff Department announced.
The former Marine served as the sheriff’s deputy for the Colorado Department for seven years and was the newly appointed vice president of the Denver Sheriff Latino Organization. It’s unclear whether Trujillo, a married father of two, had any underlying health problems.
Trujillo’s death comes after he shared a series of posts on social media about hesitancy to vaccinate, the most recent just 3 weeks before his death from the virus.
Daniel ‘Duke’ Trujillo, 33, (pictured) died of COVID complications on Wednesday with his family by his side
On May 7, Trujillo updated the border of his Facebook profile picture with a message that read ‘I have an immune system’,
At the end of April, Trujillo’s Facebook profile picture border said, ‘I don’t care if you’ve had your vaccine’
On May 7, the sheriff’s deputy updated his Facebook profile photo with a message that read “ I have an immune system, ” a clear explanation of why he had decided not to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
Before that, at the end of April, his Facebook profile photo said: ‘I don’t care if you’ve had your vaccine’
Although he’s no longer on his page, screengrabs from a post Trujillo shared last month included a TikTok post from another man claiming to be a U.S. Marine spitting out anti-vaccine rhetoric.
“You f *** sticks are really out on social media going,” Of course I was going to get my vaccine! I did my research, I know what’s in it, burp, “said the man in the TikTok. Oh buddy, you’re the research. ‘
“Being a marine taught me one thing: never be the first to volunteer,” he added. ‘You all run out to line up to get the vaccine like people are rushing to get the new iPhone, and as history has told us, every new product ever hit the market is always full of problems. And do you know how they solve those problems? ‘
Trujillo captioned the TikTok video: ‘I’ll get it later when you all start growing out of your foreheads.’
Trujillo’s also shared anti-mask sentiments.
In July 2020, he shared a message on Instagram that read, ‘Before shaming me in public for not having a mask, ask yourself a simple question. Will this mask stop and cut up? ‘
Trujillo shared an anti-vaccination TikTok video with the caption: ‘I’ll get it later when you guys start growing a substance out of your foreheads’
In July 2020, Trujillo shared a message on Instagram that read, ‘Ask yourself a simple question before shaming me in public for not having a mask. Will this mask stop and cut up? ‘
Trujillo leaves behind a wife and young son, (pictured together) a GoFundMe set up in his memory, said
Trujillo leaves behind a wife and a young son, a GoFundMe set up in his memory said.
“He was a gentle soul with a heart of gold and will be missed by everyone who knew him !!” said the fundraiser.
In 2017, Trujillo was suspended for 60 days without pay for using excessive force against a prisoner who was in a cell but put his arms through his cell door, the Denver Post reported.
He was the second deputy in the Denver sheriff’s department to work at the city’s detention center, who died within two weeks of COVID complications.
Trujillo’s associate, Deputy James Herrera, 51, died of COVID complications on May 16.
Just last week on Facebook, Trujillo referred to Herrera as his ‘brother’ and updated his banner with Herrera’s photo.
‘He was a bamf! Good for everyone and always helped with advice or a listening ear and listen to someone bitch / complain. He will be missed, ”Trujillo wrote of Herrera a week ago.
Trujillo and Herrera both worked at the downtown detention center, which has had an active COVID-19 outbreak since April 2020, Cannoncitydailyrecord.com reported.
The Denver Sheriff Department website reported 11 active cases at the detention center on Thursday.
As a sheriff’s deputy, Trujillo was eligible for a vaccine in January, Denver Sheriff Department spokeswoman Daria Serna told Canoncitydailtrecord.com
Serna added that the vaccines were not mandatory and that due to privacy concerns, the department does not keep track of how many deputy sheriffs have been vaccinated.
“Vaccinations were a choice,” she said.