AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Former U.S. Attorney John Walsh released a 329-page independent report about the investigation into Aurora police Officer Nate Meier, who was found passed out and drunk in his patrol car last year.
Walsh presented his review at a press conference Thursday.
His report found the Aurora Police Department made “significant errors” and demonstrated a “failure of leadership.”
On March 29, 2019, first responders found Meier passed out in his unmarked Ford Taurus patrol car in the middle of East Mississippi Avenue.
Meier was not charged and did not lose his job as a result of the incident.
“The blood alcohol level of this officer was so high and there was undisputed evidence of an ongoing, years-long alcohol abuse problem. The only reasonable conclusion, in our view, [is] that this was unlikely to have been the first time [Meier] was intoxicated on duty,” Walsh said.
Walsh’s report praises several lower-ranking officers who stood up and requested a criminal investigation. Higher-ranking members of APD, including former Chief Nick Metz, thwarted those efforts.
“At the end of the day, in this incident, we had a highly intoxicated Aurora police officer who was driving on duty while armed in an Aurora Police Department car. Ultimately, he was not fully investigated on the criminal side and he was not charged. He was also not terminated,” Walsh said.
Walsh found Meier received special and preferential treatment due to his position.
“A civilian simply would not have been given this lenient treatment and shouldn’t be. Neither should a police officer,” Walsh said.
Interim APD Chief Vanessa Wilson issued the following statement about the report: