Aurora police chief suspends union president after diversity email to members

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AURORA |  The president of one of two Aurora police unions has been placed on paid administrative leave by the police department after he sent an email to the group’s 240 members calling diversity provisions in an agreement between the city and the state “sexist and racist.”

Officer Doug Wilkinson, president of the Aurora Police Association, sent the email Nov. 16 and was placed on leave the following day after multiple Aurora officers complained to human resources, Lt. Chris Amsler, an aide to Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson, told KCNC-TV. Another department spokesperson later verified the report to The Sentinel. 

“To match the ‘diversity’ of ‘the community’ we could make sure to hire 10% illegal aliens, 50% weed smokers, 10% crackheads, and a few child molesters and murderers to round it out. You know, so we can make the department look like the ‘community,'” Wilkinson wrote in the email.

The city’s HR department is now conducting an investigation into Wilkinson’s missive.

The email was prompted by a consent decree created by the Colorado State Attorney General’s office, announced Nov. 16, that set up reforms for the Aurora police and fire departments. The decree followed a lengthy state investigation that found a pattern of racist policing and excessive use of force. It calls for updated hiring practices so the police and fire departments better reflect the city’s racial makeup.

Slated to be in place for up to five years, the document outlines a series of deadlines the city must meet at various stages over the next two years. A so-called “consent decree monitor,” paid for by the city, will oversee the process of instituting the changes outlined the report.

The investigation was launched amid outrage over the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was put into a chokehold by Aurora police and injected by paramedics with ketamine in 2019.

Wilkinson told KCNC-TV his missive was intended to be “a private email message to the members” and should not have been made public.

“I’m trying to have an honest conversation” without it becoming a “word salad,” he said.

In an email to Sentinel Colorado, Wilkinson said he is “not allowed to comment” on his leave status.

Wilkinson’s email criticized the consent decree’s provisions for diversity in hiring and promotions within the police department.

“The decree indicates that they want to replace as many of the department’s white males as possible with as many women and minorities,” he wrote. “It’s as simple as that. To do that they are going to hire and promote non-whites and non-males wherever they can.”

According to Wilkinson, “The State’s plan, fully embraced by the city, is literally systematically sexist and racist.”

He also wrote that he would prefer that the department focus on intelligence, personal ethics and courage as the only criteria for hiring and promotion.

“That’s all I care about. We should only be interested in merit. But that will never do. They’re addicted to race and sex politics. We already hire every minority that passes the minimum requirements,” he wrote.

Wilkinson has been with the Aurora police department for 19 years, Agent Matt Longshore, spokesperson for the local agency, confirmed in an email.

Amsler said the police chief is “very concerned” about the email and added that the Aurora Police Association does not speak for the police department and is not the recognized bargaining unit with the city. The Fraternal Order of Police represents the majority of Aurora officers and is the agency that bargains with the city for a contract.

The president of the FOP, Marc Sears, declined to comment on Wilkinson’s email.

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Publius
Publius
13 days ago

Would Officer Wilkerson have sent that e-mail had he not believed it would be well recieved? The answer seems obvious, and troubling. Clearly he feels embattled in the face of change. Perhaps his feelings stem from unfair perceptions of his profession, more likely from partially unfair and partially fair perceptions of his profession, but either way, I wonder, is he the leader this organization needs during the change which is certainly coming? Those who feel embattled, who feel persecuted seem unlikely candidates for a partnership in forging a new paradigm.

Doug King
Doug King
13 days ago
Reply to  Publius

I think i get your point

Doug King
Doug King
13 days ago

as usual, some knucklehead has gone beyond what he should have and opened up a can of worms. Poor wording, poor ideas and this? is definitely what is considered to be POOR leadership…he needs to go, period.

Dean
13 days ago

Something really bad has happened. Officer Doug Wilkinson flunked diversity school- Rest assured – This specific symptom aka- Freedom of Speech, a little remedial inclusion training will deal with this condition along with a session or two with Dr. Jennifer Melfi.

H. H. Cochran
H. H. Cochran
12 days ago

If anyone had doubts about racism in the Aurora Police Department, Officer Wilkinson Put them to rest.

DICK MOORE
DICK MOORE
12 days ago
Reply to  H. H. Cochran

HH Cochran I sure do miss you running the Sentinel. Hoping you and yours are well

ash
ash
12 days ago

“He also wrote that he would prefer that the department focus on intelligence, personal ethics and courage as the only criteria for hiring and promotion.”

None of which was shown in this email.

MechasaurusWrecks
MechasaurusWrecks
12 days ago

Can this paper confirm whether the Aurora Police Association is actually a dues-collecting union? Because it seems like officers are paying dues to the FOP and the APA is just a social club for officers who want free reign to harass and assault our Black neighbors in Aurora.

Does the city negotiate with APA as a union? Is APA filing an annual tax report?

vern
vern
12 days ago

Well we are in a fine mess. There is one side trying to do the job of policing, and there are so many more arm chair voices that want to promote “ideas” that for the most part don’t work. I think the activists should have to put on a similar to cop uniform and stand on the front lines in a riot. Thirty years back the Denver post commented on the move by Aurora Fire to get women on the job- since they had never been able to score high enough. A overhaul to make it easier netted quite a few on the civil service list. A good thing. The Post said what is the big deal? Hire a woman and then hire another man to do the job! ” If I was a woman I would be insulted. I had a black woman activist tell me…”The job of a policeman or fireman is not good enough for us blacks… the only reason we target them is because of the media attention it gives us”. Ok I get it- everyone wants and deserves fair treatment (and equal- not equitable) under and by the law. But freedom of speech rules and we get to say things that others may not like , AND might just be dumb. But the thought is correct- Criminals don’t want to be cops, drug users dont want to be firemen… Rational citizens of Aurora don’t want Domestic abusers or sexual predators responding to their problems in the hour of need. I for one don’t want “Bad apples” in any contact I have with the city. You can’t have it both ways. IF YOU WANT WOKE POLITICS TO DESIGNATE WHO AND HOW THE DEPARTMENT LOOKS- STAND BY BECAUSE IT WILL BE AS MESSED UP AS ANY CITY THAT ADVOCATES SUCH THINGS. so ps I stand by his right to say such things, let reasonable people decide what if any of it they believe, think is dumb -Because if we don’t HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS OUR VIEWS… WE LOOSE OUR FREEDOMS!