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Statements on Indictment of Officers and Firefighters in Elijah McClain Case

Statements from City Manager, Police Chief and Fire Chief Following Indictments in Elijah McClain Case
Posted on 09/01/2021
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With the Sept. 1 announcement by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser that a grand jury has returned criminal charges against two current Aurora police officers, one former Aurora police officer and two firefighters involved in the Elijah McClain case, City Manager Jim Twombly, Police Chief Vanessa Wilson and Fire Rescue Chief Fernando Gray have released the following statements.

From Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly:

“This week marks the two-year anniversary of Elijah’s tragic death, and we know his family mourns him. It brought back painful memories for me like it did for scores of Aurora residents and other people across the country. We must remember that no civil or criminal investigation will erase the pain and heartbreak of Elijah’s loss.

City leaders thank the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the members of the Grand Jury for their commitment to a resolution. We respect the judicial process and ask that everyone else do the same. The city has cooperated fully with the Attorney General’s Office and its investigators throughout their thorough and thoughtful work, including their separate investigation into the patterns and practices of the APD, which is still pending. Pursuant to Aurora’s City Charter, any member of the Civil Service, which would include police officers and firefighters, indicted on a felony charge is immediately and indefinitely suspended without pay. This effectively separates the employee from the city of Aurora pending the outcome of the criminal case.

You have heard me say that we will not waver from our commitment to ‘A New Way’ of policing in Aurora and that holds true today. We are also committed to supporting our officers while we ask them to meet our community’s expectations of transparency and reform. We want our community to know we continue to make multidimensional changes across numerous departments. We continue to collaborate between city, state and community leaders, and the hardworking officers who embrace the work and bravely protect our city.

This tragedy has greatly changed and shaped Aurora. Today’s announcement is an important step in restoring the community’s trust in Aurora’s public safety agencies and in honoring Elijah’s life.”

From Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson:

“I know this has been a long-awaited decision for Ms. McClain and her family. This tragedy will forever be imprinted on our community. We continue to offer our condolences for the loss of Elijah, and we will continue to cooperate with the judicial process.”

From Aurora Fire Rescue Chief Fernando Gray:

“For more than two years our community has grieved the death of a precious life. Our community demanded answers and continually questioned the circumstances surrounding Elijah’s death and we are committed to fully cooperating as the judicial process moves forward. We want to share again our deepest expression of sympathy to the family members and friends of Elijah McClain.”

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