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Police department with Elijah McClain case gets new chief

The City Council
the Aurora Police Department
the Police Department
the Aurora Police Association
the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative

Elijah McClain
Vanessa Wilson
George Floyd
Mari Newman
Jared Polis



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The New York Times
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The interim chief of a suburban Denver police department has become the first woman to permanently lead the agency that's looking to regain public trust following a tumultuous year since the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man officers stopped on the street and put into a chokehold. The national reckoning over racism and police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other Black people brought renewed attention and criticism to Aurora police over the August 2019 death of McClain, who was stopped by three white officers responding to a call about a suspicious person wearing a ski mask and waving his arms as he walked down a street. Wilson moved quickly last month to fire three officers, including one involved in confronting McClain, over their involvement in taking and sharing photos of police reenacting the chokehold near where McClain was stopped, a spot that had become a memorial. Newman called Wilson’s previous actions a “mixed bag.” She criticized the department’s use of force, which included pepper spray and batons, during a violin vigil this summer for McClain but also praised Wilson's quick decision to fire the officers who participated in the mock chokehold photos.

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