Another Open Letter to Aurora Officials

NOTE: The original letter was emailed on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, and snail-mailed to the parties below on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

To: CITY OF AURORA, Mike Coffman, mayor; Jim Twombly, city manager; Vanessa Wilson, chief of police

17TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT, Dave Young, district attorney; Brian Mason, district attorney-elect; Fernanda Nieto, campaign manager

OFFICE OF THE CORONER OF ADAMS & BROOMFIELD COUNTIES, Monica Broncucia-Jordan, chief coroner

Cc: CITY & COUNTY OF BROOMFIELD, Pat Quinn, mayor; Deven Shaff, city council member, Ward 3; Jennifer Hoffman, city manager; Vanessa Oldham, director of diversity, equity and inclusion; Gary Creager, chief of police

STATE OF COLORADO, Dianne Primavera, lieutenant governor; Phil Weiser, attorney general; Matt Gray, representative, District 33; Vicki Marble, senator, District 23; Barbara Kirkmeyer, senator-elect, District 23

U.S. CONGRESS, Diana DeGette, representative, House District 1; Joe Neguse, representative, House District 2

Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, ℅ Eldridge Sims, senior pastor, Living Hope Bible Church

Aurora Community of Faith, ℅ Gregory McDonald, chair

January 8, 2021

Dear Aurora Civic Leaders,

We are deeply concerned by Elijah McClain’s 2019 death, the abusive 2020 detention of Brittany Gilliam and four minor members of her family, numerous anecdotal reports of police misconduct, and sustained minority underrepresentation in the police department and civic leadership of our fellow 17th Judicial District community of Aurora, Colo.

While in-person protests have tapered off due to COVID and cold weather, passion for structural, philosophical and institutional change remains strong in Aurora and beyond. In the tradition of the prophet named Jesus, who was falsely accused, arrested and imprisoned, we stand in solidarity with Aurora clergy and residents who advocate for truly meaningful law enforcement reform and system-wide transparency. Because when one group of people within our larger community struggles, we all struggle.

We urge you to build on the work of long-standing local faith groups — in particular the Aurora Community of Faith and the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance — and to meet with, listen to and privilege the voices of local Pastors of Color. We eagerly await news of these gatherings, their proposed action steps and the progress that comes from them.

We stand ready to partner with you, in whatever ways would be helpful and appropriate, toward rebuilding the trust of Aurora citizens in their civic institutions and toward the day when no law-abiding citizen experiences fear of contact with Aurora police officers or lacks trust in legal or autopsy-related processes.


Marrton Dormish, minister of community engagement, The Refuge

Kathy Escobar, co-pastor, The Refuge

Doug Nelson, earth and social justice pastor, The Refuge

Chris Bollegar, rector, Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Will Johnson, pastor of congregational ministries, Cross of Christ Lutheran Church

Nancy Movick, compassion ministries director, Discovery Christian Church

Lyndon Shakespeare, rector, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church

(all of Broomfield Faith Communities Together in Service)

Loren Richmond Jr., lead pastor, Missiongathering Christian Church &

The Broomfield and Adams County Faith Leaders’ Caucus of Together Colorado

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