The Aurora Police Department must reform its use of force and training policies or face a court order, according to the Attorney General.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser declared Wednesday that the Aurora Police Department must modify officer training, policy on use of force, and standards for law enforcement stops and arrests or risk a court order. According to the Associated Press, the action is the outcome of a civil rights inquiry into the police department undertaken in the wake of public outcry over the death of Elijah McClain, a Black man who died after an incident with local policemen.
According to Weiser, the study found that the department has a record of treating persons of color, particularly Black people, differently than its white counterparts. The investigation also discovered that the department has a tendency of utilizing unlawful and disproportionate force during citizen confrontations, which can lead to escalation, and that interactions between police and people are not adequately documented.
“These activities are abhorrent. They harm the individuals who law enforcement is entrusted to protect, according to Weiser.
The attorney general urged the police department to implement the reform suggestions, threatening that if they did not, his office would seek a court injunction. According to the Associated Press, Weiser stated that the agency participated extensively throughout the inquiry process.
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On August 24, 2019, police stopped McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, as he walked home from a store after a 911 caller described a man wearing a ski mask and waving his hands as “sketchy.”
Officers pinned McClain down and put him in a chokehold. According to the accusation, paramedics injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine, which is appropriate for someone 77 pounds (35 kilograms) larger than McClain’s 143-pound (64-kilogram) body. He became unconscious, was pronounced brain-dead in a hospital, and his life support was turned off.
The state civil rights investigation, which began in August 2020, was the first of its type following the passage of a broad police accountability law in Colorado the month before, in the wake of demonstrations over the deaths of McClain and George Floyd.
Weiser said his agency wants a consent decree, which is a state agreement with Aurora, to be submitted to a court. The decree would spell out what the city and department must do to implement the findings of his study.
Elijah’s single mother, Sheneen McClain, stated she participated in the state. This is a condensed version of the information.