First Report Released For Aurora’s Consent Decree, Town Hall Scheduled

Elijah McClain Mural
The first report has been released involving the oversight of the city of Aurora’s implementation of public safety changes, which are connected to the death of Elijah McClain. / Law Week file.

The first report has been released involving the oversight of the city of Aurora’s implementation of public safety changes.

The goal of the study is to monitor progress for multiple facets, including racially biased policing practices that were found after a long investigation by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Aurora and the AG entered into a consent decree in November, 2021, which involved the city contracting with a third-party monitor who would provide regular updates. The Florida-based group IntegrAssure was then hired to oversee public safety changes. This is the first of 12 reports being released until 2027, unless something changes.

“It assumes that all of the items which need to be in substantial compliance will be in substantial compliance at that time,” said Jeff Schlanger, the founder of IntegrAssure. “It is possible that the date could move forward a little bit as well if the city does really well or that it could be pushed back if the city doesn’t do as well as … anticipated when the document was written.”

Multiple incidents lead to the investigation including the 2019 death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain. Police restrained McClain while Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics sedated him with ketamine — McClain went into cardiac arrest and later died. The incident led to multiple indictments.

The 341-page report released in July by IntegrAssure assessed 36 of the consent decree’s 70 mandates. That monitor found the city in major compliance with nine of the mandates and in various stages of compliance for the remaining mandates. The nine mandates found to be in substantial compliance included Aurora Fire Rescue’s use of chemical sedatives, along with the Civil Service Commission’s selection of an expert to help in recruitment, hiring and promotion. 

“Since April 2021, AFR has agreed not to use ketamine as a chemical restraint and, via AFR policy, prohibited its use,” the report said. “Nonetheless, the City, for the term of the Decree, has agreed to abide by review protocols set forth in the Decree should it seek to reinstitute ketamine for use as a chemical restraint or seek to use any other chemical as a restraint.”

The remaining mandates being examined include policy and training, racial bias in policing, use of force and documentation of stops. Some of them are on a cautionary track over concerns of a lack of governance over policy, along with training development. Overall, the study has gone quite well according to IntegrAssure leadership.

“The city has shown itself to be totally committed to the process and has been extremely cooperative in the process and genuinely appears to want to enter into a state of continuous improvement,” Schlanger said.     

There will be a public town hall meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m. hosted by IntegrAssure at the Beck Recreation Center in Aurora. It will also be live streamed and televised via and Comcast channels 8 and 880. Details for how to participate in the Town Hall virtual will be provided at this link, the day before the meeting. Those interested in asking questions can submit them in advance by emailing [email protected] or filling out this form.

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