Colorado Attorney General Says Investigation Found Aurora PD ‘Racially Biased’
Late this morning (Sept. 15), Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser presented findings from a 14-month external investigation into the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire.
Over those 14 months of the pattern and practice investigation, four clear and substantial findings were reported.
For one, the investigation found that Aurora Police have a pattern of racially biased policing. This also went in hand with the second finding, which is that Aurora Police have a pattern of using excessive force instead of de-escalation.
The investigation found that Aurora Police police based off of U.S. Constitution direction instead of newly placed direction from the state of Colorado. They also found that they have a practice of calming officers after an excessive force incident rather than focusing on implementing de-escalation practice from the beginning.
Lastly, Aurora Police were also found to have a pattern of failing to report and record accurately with arrests and stops. In turn, this makes it difficult to properly look into excessive force cases due to the improper recording of the incidents.
As far as the part of the investigation that looked into Aurora Fire practices, they found a pattern and practice of using ketamine in a way that does not follow legal requirements.
As a result of the investigation, AG Weiser said that they will be implementing a 60-day process to compel Aurora Police and Aurora Fire to implement changes within the departments in several areas.
The consent decree will give them 60 days to reach agreements and address the required changes. After, if the desired changes aren't observed, the Attorney General's Office said they are prepared to seek court-ordered improvement.
The hope is the consent decree, with the assistance of an independent monitor to oversee the process, will build and improve trust in law enforcement in Aurora.
AG Weiser called for the City of Aurora to be on board with the process and serve as additional eyes of accountability.