An investigation by the Colorado Department of Law has found that officers of the Aurora Police Department engaged in a pattern of racially biased policing and excessive force, more often arresting and using force against people of color than white people, based on their percentage of the population, reports the New York Times. In the civil investigation by the Colorado Department of Law, investigators spent more than 220 hours in “ride alongs” with police officers and firefighters and reviewed thousands of use-of-force reports.
The report concluded that the police showed a pattern of violating state and federal law as investigators saw officers using force to take people to the ground without giving them time to respond to commands or after telling people to “stop resisting,” even when it appeared that they were not resisting. Investigators also saw officers “immediately escalating” encounters with people who were in mental distress but were not posing a danger to themselves or others. The report recommended that the Police Department enter into a consent decree that would require changes to policies, training, record keeping and hiring. The investigation also concluded that Aurora Fire Rescue had a pattern of illegally administering ketamine, often in higher than recommended doses.