NS Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser’s office found that Aurora Police Department It has a racially biased policing model and practice, as well as having a culture of improper education, poor record keeping, and excessive use of force.
At the September 15 press conference previewing a report on APD and Aurora Fire RescueWeiser, whose use of the potent drug ketamine has also been found to violate the law on a regular basis, said his team will work with the City of Aurora to issue a consent decree to address these issues. If no agreement is reached on such a decree within sixty days, he added, “We are ready to seek a solution to this problem by court order.”
Two weeks ago today, September 1, Weiser assigned the Aurora Police Department a specific case: Death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain after a violent encounter with members of the Aurora Police Department On August 24, 2019. The grand jury had prepared a 32-point indictment against five people.: Aurora Police officers Randy Roedema and Nathan Woodyard, former Aurora Police Officer Jason Rosenblatt (fired after texting “Haha” regarding a re-enacted photo of the McClain incident), and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec without their consent to ketamine McClain injecting. The drug seems to have triggered a health crisis from which it never recovered.
At the time of this announcement, Weiser noted that a more general civil rights investigation into Aurora’s police and fire services is ongoing. Now this investigation, authorized by Senate Bill 20-217, a police reform measure that went into effect last year, Completed. After analyzing more than one million records, reading nearly 3,000 reports and related documents spanning a five-year period, and reviewing body-worn footage from multiple incidents, Weiser’s team determined that department staff regularly displayed bias against suspects of color. and used disproportionately excessive force on these persons. According to the report, unnecessary force was often used against individuals who were not given sufficient time to follow orders or who were mentally ill but did not pose an imminent threat of harm to themselves or others; Stress relief hasn’t been nearly enough.
Ineffective education, a poor process for reviewing cases of excessive power, poor record keeping, and a general culture that allowed inappropriate behavior to continue unabated exacerbated the problems.
Weiser commended Aurora officials for their cooperation throughout the investigation and expressed hope that they will continue to work with her office during the lengthy consent process. At this point, it’s unclear where the ordinance will be issued, which court will be tasked with ensuring that the deal is enforced, or what the various departments must do to keep their homes in order – Weiser stressed that he is an independent monitor. should be part of the fix. But one thing is certain, “it will take time,” he continued. “We need to develop this consent decree. Then we need to enforce it, and then we need to supervise it, possibly for “five years or more.”
In other words, the work needed to rectify the faults of the police force and restore trust among community members is only just beginning. Click to read Colorado Attorney General’s Office Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue investigation report.