The Aurora City Council will host a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. today to discuss the police department’s response to June 27 demonstrations calling on justice for Elijah McClain after concerns were raised about the department’s tactics during the demonstration.
Mayor Mike Coffman requested the meeting. A release from the city said the mayor and council will ask and hear questions about the police department. The meeting will be completed virtually.
“We are hearing many questions and concerns from the community about the tactics used by the Aurora Police Department during Saturday’s protests, and council needs to hear first-hand specifically what happened,” Coffman said in a statement.
Coffman in his statement alluded to “disruptions that overshadowed the broader” peaceful message.
McClain, 23, died in Aurora police custody last fall. His death has resurfaced amid renewed calls to end police violence and racism. Last Saturday’s protests were attended by thousands and were largely peaceful. A violin vigil welcomed protesters as a tribute for McClain, who used to play his violin at an animal shelter.
The protests ended with police pushing attendees out of the Aurora Municipal Center, where the department’s headquarters are located. Police used pepper spray and tear gas.
On Monday night, after the city had announced today’s special meeting, interim police chief Vanessa Wilson said in a statement multiple officers were placed on paid administrative leave over photos depicting them near the site where officers rendered McClain unconscious last year.
The officers involved in McClain’s arrest were not charged. The city is working on an independent investigation into the case, while Attorney General Phil Weiser has been appointed as special prosecutor to investigate the case on the state’s behalf.
Those interested in watching the meeting can tune in at AuroraTV.org (click on “Watch Live”), Comcast Channels 8/880 in Aurora or by phone by calling 1-877-820-7831.