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Independent group releases third progress report on Aurora's consent decree

The independent monitor's progress report shared concerns about missed deadlines and the Aurora Police Department's review of force used by its officers.

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora has made it through three check-ins under its consent decree. This is the legal agreement made by the state and the city to reform the city's police and fire departments after the death of Elijah McClain. 

The reports put together by the independent consent decree monitor track the progress the city has made in meeting mandates set by the consent decree.

The latest report issued in late January shared concerns about missed deadlines and the Aurora Police Department's (APD) review of force used by its officers. But the report did say Aurora leadership at the city level and in both the APD and Aurora Fire Department (AFD), have continued to embrace the need for change.

This is the third of 12 reports the independent consent decree monitor for Aurora will release to detail the progress being made. The 378-page document covered a reporting period from August to November, before Aurora's new interim police chief Art Acevedo started the job. 

Many deadlines for mandates were due during this reporting period and, according to the report, many were missed. 

The report found the city to be in substantial compliance with 11 of the consent decree mandates and on a cautionary track on 29 other mandates because of missed deadlines and uncertainty as to whether the monitor’s expectations will be met.

"Both the Monitor and the City have gotten a better understanding of the capability, or lack thereof, for the APD to simultaneously deal with the substantial number of Mandates calling for significant change," reads the report. 

According to the report, the police department has prioritized meeting these deadlines and has assigned more resources to make it happen.

The independent group also continues to have concerns about the force review board's assessment of force used by officers. 

"We were concerned the Force Review Board was not analyzing uses of force as critically as they should have been," said Jeff Schlanger, the leader of the independent monitoring team. 

The report says there was an apparent reluctance of APD to critically assess the use of force when policies are not violated but where practices can be improved. According to Schlanger, the process has gotten a lot better under interim chief Acevedo. 

"Those critical reviews we are looking for have started to materialize," said Schlanger. 

Schlanger believes Acevedo has focused himself and the department on meeting all of the mandates of the decree and he said there's been a renewed effort since he has come on board to make that happen. 

"We are confident the city while on a cautionary track will get back on the right track on all of these issues," said Schlanger.

There is a virtual community meeting on Aurora's progress under the consent decree on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Join the meeting here.
Meeting ID: 223 412 594 41
Passcode: PhcU4h


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