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Aurora police union president fired from department over inflammatory email

Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson terminated Douglas Wilkinson after an outside investigation showed Wilkinson violated anti-harassment and discrimination policies.

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora's police chief has fired the police association president over an inflammatory email he sent to union members on Nov. 16. An investigation shows he violated department anti-discrimination and harassment policies. 

The email, written by Aurora Police Association (APA) President Douglas Wilkinson, was sent to approximately 235 members of the APA

Chief Vanessa Wilson announced she terminated Wilkinson on Thursday after an outside investigation of his email showed he violated the city's anti-harassment policy and the department's directive on discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment. 

The Denver Gazette reported Wilkinson's email criticized a provision in a consent decree that mentioned the hiring of Aurora police officers and firefighters should reflect the diversity of the city.

The consent decree was the result of a 14-month investigation that was prompted by several high-profile cases, including the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. McClain was confronted by police as he walked along an Aurora street, taken to the ground and handcuffed. He later died.

Wilkinson wrote the email after the city of Aurora approved the decree, which outlines how Aurora police, fire and civil service commission must take action on recommendations outlined in a September report. 

Wilkinson was hired by the department in 2002 and was assigned to District 3 patrol. He was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 17, a day after the email was sent to members.

Aurora has two police unions: the APA and the Fraternal Order of Police.



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