Aurora police chief fires officer for ‘severe misconduct’

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) -- The interim chief of the Aurora Police Department said Monday that she terminated an officer for "severe misconduct."

In a post on APD's blog, Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson said the officer's conduct was "completely out of character with the mission, ideals, and expectations of the Aurora Police Department."

Later Monday afternoon, APD identified the officer at Levi Huffine. He began working for APD in November 2012.

Wilson said there were no serious injuries as a result of the incident involving Huffine.

According to an APD spokesperson, the incident took place in August 2019.

The spokesperson said the firing is not related to incidents involving Agent Nate Meier or Elijah McClain.

The department says the case involves officers making contact with a member of the public, adding that someone complained of a non-serious injury and was checked out by medical staff.

“If [they] have a gross act that’s unlawful, that’s a clear violation of policy, the chief absolutely has discretion to make a firing decision on the spot,” said Paul Taylor, a former police officer and assistant professor at University of Colorado Denver.

Regardless of the ruling from Aurora’s Civil Service Commission, either the officer or chief can appeal, sending the case into the court system.

"Due to a pending appeals process that is given to civil service employees, I am unable to provide additional details or information about this incident until that process has been completed. At such time, I will make the body worn camera footage available and address questions from our community members," Wilson wrote.

The interim chief said her decision followed her promise of transparency and building back the community's trust.

Editor's note: Based on information from APD, an earlier version of this story said the incident happened in August 2018. It actually occurred in August 2019.

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