Police Reform Sparked by Elijah McClain’s Death Advances in Colorado

In Summary

A suburban Denver police department has agreed to reforms after the 2019 killing of Elijah McClain. 

In response to the 2019 killing of Elijah McClain, which resulted in indictments against officers and a civil rights investigation that highlighted a culture of racially-biased policing and excessive force, a suburban Denver police department has agreed to reforms, according to the Associated Press

RELATED: Probe Reveals Aurora Police Has Pattern of Racially Biased Profiling

The arrangement was announced on Nov. 16 by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Aurora’s city manager, police chief and fire chief. The deal was reached because of a civil rights investigation established by Weiser due to the outrage over the passing of McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was put in a chokehold by police and was injected with ketamine by paramedics. 

In the plan, the city would have to change their use-of-force policies and create new training programs to get rid of discrimination, according to the Associated Press. Weiser said a key point in this arrangement would ban unnecessary use of force and raise transparency on how officers interact with the community.  

RELATED: Elijah McClain’s Family Reach Settlement with Aurora, Colorado

“Our vision of the requirements of this decree is putting Aurora on a path to follow rigorous best practices for effective policing,” Weiser said in a press conference

Additionally, the goal is to create a more diverse workforce in the police and fire departments, according to the Associated Press. 

RELATED: A year after Elijah McClain’s death, activists want charges

Although Aurora city officials have given the thumbs up on the plan, it is contingent on approval from the city council. 

“We are not going to shy away from reform,” said Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson. “To the officers on the street, this consent decree is nothing to be afraid of.” 

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