Aurora community again calls for police reform following graphic video of suspect arrest

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — There were calls for justice Wednesday in Aurora after a man was allegedly beaten by an Aurora police officer last Friday. 

The whole incident was captured on an officer’s body camera. That video was released by the Aurora Police Department (APD) Tuesday

Community members described it as horrific. Those leaders said they couldn’t believe they found themselves making some of the same complaints after another high-profile case a couple of years ago

“That there needs to be more money in training is overshadowed by unanswered 911 calls, not sending mental health response teams and the continued violence against citizens,” said community activist Candice Bailey. 

The call came from community activists, city council members, and citizens who say they’ve been treated unfairly by some officers themselves.  

“We have cried and cried and pled. We have begged, we have demanded, and nothing has changed the narrative, “added Bailey. 

The group complained the beating of Kyle Vinson reminded of them of another case in Aurora involving the death of Elijah McLain. 

Some said APD had ignored recommendations they made to the city’s community police task force six months ago. 

“I feel every strike that man went through because the city set us up to fail,” said former task force member Lindsay Minter. 

Minter said that, so far, recommendations to give the department the ability to recommend prosecution when needed has not happened. 

“They asked us for recommendations, they asked us to be liaisons to the community. They asked us all these questions we gave them answers to, but they still haven’t answered the email,” said former community task force member Jason McBride.

McBride said the committee pushed to have more black officers added to the force, but that didn’t happen. 

The community leaders said they feel the streets are still not safe because of bad police. The members are making promises to keep complaining until real change is made. 

A city spokesperson APD has already implemented reforms based on recommendations from various reform reports and the Community Police Task Force. 

In a previous OP-ED published in the Aurora Sentinel, City Manager Jim Twombly said APD had “Utilized input from the Community Policing Advisory Team to select new body-worn cameras, the type and use of restraint systems, aid in selecting APD leadership, and improve trainings involving traffic stops and de-escalation techniques.”

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