Weiser McClain

In this file photo, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser makes a point at a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Denver. Weiser said a civil rights investigation begun amid outrage over the death of Elijah McClain has ruled that the Aurora, Colo., Police Department has a pattern of racially-biased policing. 

Aurora and the Colorado attorney general will announce a tentative consent agreement on Tuesday afternoon they have reached to address systemic issues with the city's police and fire departments. 

The negotiations for a consent decree arose from a mid-September report by Attorney General Phil Weiser that the police and fire departments have patterns of violating Aurora residents’ rights. Officers have a history of using excessive force and failing to document stops as required by law, the investigation found, and the monthslong probe also determined the city’s fire department has a pattern of using ketamine in violation of the law.

Colorado's policing reform law passed last year, known as Senate Bill 217, allows the state Department of Law to investigate the patterns and practices of government agencies and mandate changes if the investigations find the agency has a history of violating people's civil rights or denying their constitutional protections.

Weiser's report was released a few weeks after he announced criminal indictments against three Aurora police officers and two paramedics in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain.

McClain, 23, died several days after he was forcefully detained and injected with the sedative ketamine. The dose was too large for McClain to handle.

Aurora began the search for an independent monitor to oversee the eventual consent decree, a position the city will fund, at the beginning of November. A city spokesperson said Aurora plans to fill the role by the end of the year.

The consent decree monitor would be a separate role from an independent monitor Aurora has budgeted to hire in 2022 to oversee discipline and other accountability in the police department, and the special decree position would make reports to the court on only the agreement's progress.


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