An Open Letter to Aurora Officials

I don’t often make “demands,” but as someone living in the 17th Judicial District and a concerned observer of recent high-profile incidents involving police misconduct, I feel compelled to demand that you, Aurora-area decision-makers, immediately fire and charge the police officers (and paramedics) who caused the death of Elijah McClain. How can APD fire an officer in righteous indignation for replying “ha ha” to a photo mockingly reenacting the chokehold used on Elijah McClain, while at the same time stubbornly continue to employ several of the officers whose actions extinguished Elijah McClain’s innocent life? Setting aside the issue of “criminality,” if “ha ha” is a fireable offense, certainly killing someone is, too! As for the 2019 autopsy that found Elijah McClain’s cause of death medically “inconclusive,” it’s beyond obvious that had APD not accosted Elijah McClain that night last August, he very, very likely would still be alive today.

Furthermore, I join the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance in calling for the dismissal of the officers who last week misidentified, pulled over, detained at gunpoint, and handcuffed-face down-on-the-ground Brittney Gilliam and her young family members.

The several ongoing investigations of the Aurora Police Department will take time, and lawsuits take even longer. If you have any desire to begin the process of healing your community and regaining the public trust, don’t wait for the conclusion of these investigations. Act now. Don’t hide behind phrases like “the rule of law” and “I don’t make decisions based on petitions.” Remember that governments, even local ones, derive their just powers “from the consent of the governed,” not from the desire to stay in power or to maintain a system at the expense of the people they purport to serve.


Marrton Dormish

Minister, Broomfield, Colo.

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