Colorado The attorney general said on Wednesday that a civil rights investigation began amid outrage over the the data the death of Elijah McClain revealed that the Aurora Police Department has a target model police .
Attorney General Phil Weiser announced that the investigation found that the ministry has long had a culture in which ich officers treat people of color - especially blacks - differently from whites. He said the agency also used to use excessive and illegal force, frequently aggravated encounters with civilians, and did not properly document police interactions with residents.
"These actions are unacceptable. They hurt the people that the law enforcement is responsible for " serving, he said.
In this photo of archive of September 1, 2021, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser speaks about a grand jury investigation into the death of Elijah McClain, a black man who was strangled by police and injected with a powerful sedative for two years. there, at a press conference in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)
ELIJAH MCCLAIN DEAD: THE GRAND JURY OF COLORADO INDICATES 3 POLICE OFFICERS, 2 PARAMEDICAL
Weiser urged the police department to commit to recommended reforms in officer training, its policies on use of force and in particular stricter standards for police checks and arrests. If he does not comply, he said, his office will seek a court order requiring the department to do so - but he noted that the department has fully cooperated with the investigation.e.
The investigation, announced in August 2020, was the first of its kind launched under a sweeping police accountability law passed in Colorado amid protests against the murder of George Floyd. It had started several weeks earlier but was not revealed until the day McClain's parents filed a lawsuit against Aurora. The lawsuit alleges that the police treatment of McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was part of a racist police pattern that involved assault and violence against black people.
The Accountability Act prohibited police officers or other employees of government agencies from depriving people of their constitutional rights and gave the Attorney General the power to enforce them. By law, if the Attorney General finds that an agency has "a pattern or practice" of violating human rights, the Attorney General must notify the agentail the reasons for this belief and give it 60 days to make changes. If the agency doesn't make changes, the attorney general can take legal action to force them.
Weiser's office is also suing three police officers and two paramedics for manslaughter, homicide by criminal negligence and assault in McClain's death. He called a grand jury to decide whether he should file criminal charges after being ordered to reconsider the case by Democratic Governor Jared Polis amid protests last year.
CHICAGO POLICE INVESTIGATE VIDEOS OF WHITE OFFICER FACING BLACK WOMAN WALKING DOG
The grand jury indicted the five.
Police arrested McClain as he walked home from the store on August 24, 2019, after a 911 caller reported a man wearing a ski mask and waving his hands which appeared "unusual". Officers strangled McClain and immobilized him. Paramedics injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine, an appropriate amount for someone 77 pounds heavier than McClain's 143-pound frame, according to the indictment. It was then removed from life su pport.
Aurora Police Department was also criticized when police officers knocked four black girls to the ground last year and handcuffed two of them next to a car that police suspected had been stolen, but which was 'turned out not to be.
And an officer was charged with assault in July after he was filmed by a body cam in train to whip and suffocate a black man during an arrest. Another officer was accused of failing to intervene as required by the new Police Accountability Act.