Aurora Police Attack Peaceful Vigil for Elijah McClain
Aurora police, the police department that killed Elijah McClain, attacked a peaceful vigil that was being held in honor of McClain. Elijah was another Black man who was held down by multiple police who ignored his pleas for help and cries of being in pain. To make matters worse, police had pressured EMT personnel who had arrived on the scene to inject Elijah with the sedative, ketamine. Elijah suffered a heart attack and seven days later his family allowed the life support to be removed.
Elijah McClain was a gentle person who loved playing the violin. The vigil had several musicians playing while people sat peacefully on the grass and listened to honor him. At the police station, a good distance away, supposedly some protesters became aggressive. Officers in riot gear attacked them then marched over to the grassy knoll where the vigil was being held and attacked the people there.
That was yesterday and it’s the reason why, along with their refusal to admit they were wrong, that the Aurora Police Department is in the news now but the APD has a lot more to answer for than just that.
APD Protects Criminal Actions by Officers
In December of 2019, a female Aurora police officer drove to work. The police department has video of her driving into the parking lot so there is no doubt she was driving. About an hour into her shift, a sergeant suspected that she was drunk. Officer Annette Brook was given a breathalyzer test and blew a .138 which is almost twice the legal limit. But it wasn’t just alcohol in her system. Officer Brook had also taken prescription insomnia medication. Brook claimed she hadn’t had anything to drink since the night before. The Aurora Police Department did not file a Driving while Under the Influence (DUI) case against Officer Brook even though they knew she was drunk. They proceeded to handle it internally.
When the case is handled internally, the District Attorney is not able to do anything about it. The D.A. never gets that information. This effectively protects the officer from facing criminal charges. Hiding a criminal act by an officer is heinous at any time but especially so since Officer Brook had previously been arrested for DUI and that case was still being processed through the legal system. The interim police chief gave some bullshit excuse saying there was no way to prove she drove while under the influence because she could have gotten drunk at work. You would think they could have searched to see if there was any alcohol in the building but who knows, maybe it’s normal in the Aurora Police Department for alcohol to be stashed all over the place.
But guess what. This isn’t even the worse case of drunk officers at the Aurora Police Department.
Aurora Police Officer Alcohol Level 5 Times Legal Limit
About four months before the incident with Officer Annette Brook, another officers was discovered drunk on the job. Calls began coming in to the police dispatchers saying there was a car stopped in the road. One caller said there was an unresponsive police officer in the car. The first person to arrive at the scene was Deputy Chief Paul O’Keefe.
Officers had to break out the window of the unmarked police vehicle to get to Meier. They also took off his gun belt and equipment. Throughout it all Meier stayed unconscious. O’Keefe said there was a faint smell of alcohol on Officer Nate Meier and decided it was a medical issue. Meier was transported to the hospital where it was discovered that he was five times over the legal limit. A faint smell? The man had to have reeked of alcohol. But since the Deputy Chief said it was a medical issue, no investigation was done and Meier was never charged with DUI.
Meier did need to go to the hospital. He was very likely on the verge of, if not at, blood poisoning from his over consumption. That aside, this could have still been investigated as a DUI. It happens all the times. Well it does for people who are not Aurora police officers. The interim police chief opened an internal investigation into Deputy Chief Paul O’Keefe’s actions but within an hour of the announcement he retired, killing the internal investigation. What is concerning is that during an interview with 4 CBS Denver, the interim police chief said she didn’t believe the officers were trying to protect Meier. She believes they just made mistakes. If she really believes that, she’s an idiot. If those officers can handle a DUI with a regular citizen correctly, then what they did was intentional.
Officer Nate Meier was demoted but is still employed with the Aurora Police Department.