Some Aurora City Council members frustrated with APD’s response to protest

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Aurora City Council members are asking tough questions about police officers’ actions at a protest on Saturday.

Their comments come in the wake of accusations made by protestors who say too much force was used during the demonstration, which was demanding justice for Elijah McClain. The 23-year-old died last August following a confrontation with police and being injected with ketamine.

“There were several allegations made that there was an individual carrying a handgun that had scaled a brick wall and some other things that were spotted in the crowd. I would like to see video of that,” said At-Large Councilman Curtis Gardner.

That request was made directly to Vanessa Wilson, Aurora’s interim chief of police, in a special City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Aurora police had previously released some body camera video and showed more to council members.

The interim chief says force was necessary to keep agitators from storming police headquarters.

Councilman Juan Marcano is pushing for a clearer policy that would delineate how council members are apprised of police actions. 

During the council meeting, citizens asked members to look into photos allegedly taken by three police officers mocking choke holds at McClain’s memorial.

Councilwoman Allison Coombs had not seen the pictures but has been fighting to hold police more accountable. 

“I was extremely upset and disturbed and worried for Elijah’s family and for our community and for his friends. I don’t see how anyone would even consider taking photos like that,” she said.

Coombs says she’ll fight for systemic change at the Aurora Police Department in hopes of preventing protests from happening again. 

APD says it will release hundreds of hours of body worn video once the review is complete. 

APD says it is now reviewing policies and procedures to see how the department can improve. 

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