It’s the first time in Colorado’s history that a city has entered into a consent decree agreement with the state, and it was made possible by a law passed in the wake of Elijah McClain’s death.
This week, criminal trials for the three officers who forcibly stopped and subdued McClain are underway. That may result in personal, criminal responsibility for his death. The reforms required in Aurora are another form of responsibility: they are an attempt, for the first time in state history, to establish that individual incidents can be the product of a system that has not valued the lives of all people in the community. It’s an attempt to hold an entire system accountable, and ultimately, to improve public safety.
Almost two years since the decree was established, everyone involved agrees that progress has been slow, perhaps out of necessity, and has been made mostly behind closed doors. It is testing the patience and trust of a community in which some people say they can’t wait.
Full story: Aurora is the first Colorado city under state oversight to reform policing. Two years in, how’s it going? | Colorado Public Radio