Apr 6, 2022 - News

What Aurora police chief's ouster means for Colorado

Aurora police chief Vanessa Wilson at a media briefing in July. Photo: Hyoung Chang/Denver Post via Getty Images)

The firing of Aurora police chief Vanessa Wilson is a setback for police reform advocates who see Aurora as a test case for broader change statewide.

Driving the news: Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly recently ousted Wilson without cause after 20 months in the job, the Aurora Sentinel reports.

  • He offered no specifics for her termination, but the decision followed rising pressure from conservatives who hold a majority on Aurora city council. The police department had also resisted changes in its policing methods.

Flashback: Aurora agreed to a first-of-its-kind consent decree last September with the attorney general's office to end its practice of racially biased policing and excessive force.

What they're saying: "The city's action shows that restoring public trust and holding police officers accountable still is not a priority for our community," said state Sen. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora).

  • "This termination was deeply flawed, and I hope the city reconsiders this shameful and disruptive decision."

What to watch: Attorney General Phil Weiser told Axios Denver in a statement that "regardless of who the police chief is, the city has an obligation to implement the requirements of the consent decree. We look forward to continuing that important work."


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