An independent investigator who was appointed to review police actions related to an officer who was charged with driving under the influence has announced findings that include serious criticisms. Included in the report released last week was the finding that: "Aurora Police Department leadership made 'significant errors of judgment' at nearly every stage when handling the case of an officer caught driving drunk while on duty."
The appointment of a special investigator was made to handle an incident that occurred last year in the Denver suburb, during which an Aurora law enforcement officer was found passed out drunk in his police car in the middle of a busy street while on the job. Despite the fact that multiple responding officers reported smelling alcohol on the officer, the incident was not investigated as a possible DUI. Responding officers did not test for alcohol consumption or seek a blood draw from the unconscious cop. The officer kept his job, even after admitting he was blacked out drunk after consuming vodka while on duty.
The town of Aurora has an Independent Review Board, but the Board has only reviewed six disciplinary cases in the past four years and critics claim that the board does not have the necessary authority to provide effective oversight. George Brauchler, the Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney stated that his office will examine the incident regarding the officer.
In the city of Seattle, the Office of Police Accountability and the Community Police Commission. The Community Police Commission (CPC) states that it "listens to, amplifies, and builds common ground among communities affected by policing in Seattle." The purpose of the CPC is to "champion policing practices centered in justice and equity." The Office of Police Accountability (OPA) "helps ensure the actions of SPD employees are constitutional and in compliance with federal, state, and local laws by investigating and making recommended findings regarding allegations of misconduct."
Individuals have the ability to submit complaints to the OPA directly via their website, as well as via email and over the telephone. The OPA is currently closed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to the OPA website, staff is continuing to process complaints filed online, via email, and voicemail, though it does anticipate delays.
Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
As our nation heads into what are unprecedented and uncertain times, effects are being felt across the country, and the criminal justice system is no exception. With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the impacts on criminal investigations will evolve on a daily basis. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a critical difference. Steve Karimi is a former King County prosecutor with years of experience fighting for the best possible outcome. Call 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form today to get started.