Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced On Wednesday that an investigation found the Aurora Police Department guilty of violating state and federal laws through a pattern of racially biased policing and excessive force.
why it matters: The investigation began amid outrage over the death of Elijah McClain, which drew renewed attention to the death in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, and renewed focus on the practices of Aurora police officers.
- Earlier this week a Colorado grand jury charged each of the three Aurora officers and two paramedics involved in McClain’s death of manslaughter and criminal negligence.
big picture: The press release said the investigation found a “persistent pattern of illegal behavior by the Arora Police”, which was evident at “multiple levels of the department”.
- The investigation found that Aurora police had a practice of illegally using excessive force and deploying nearly two and a half times more force against people of color than against white people.
- Aurora police also disproportionately arrested people of color and failed to properly document all interactions with civilians.
- “These actions are unacceptable. They hurt people that law enforcement has been assigned” to serve, Weiser said Wednesday, per The Associated Press.
What will happen next: Colorado’s law department will work with the department to come up with an agreement on reforms that should be implemented regarding officer training, policies, record keeping and hiring.
- According to the press release, the correction process will be monitored by an independent monitor.
thought bubble, From Nerdshala’ John Frank: This is the first investigation of its kind in Colorado, allowed under the 2020 Police Accountability Act, which gives the state attorney general the same ability to conduct investigations as in the U.S. Department of Civil Rights. Justice.
- This is an incredible new power and how far the attorney general will take it to address poor policing in Colorado is unknown.