AP NEWS

Review criticizes Colorado police in drunk officer case

March 12, 2020 GMT

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado police department made errors in handling the case of an officer caught driving drunk while on duty, a special investigator said.

A review by former Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh said the Aurora Police Department leadership including former Chief Nick Metz made “significant errors of judgment,” The Denver Post reports.

Aurora police Officer Nate Meier was found passed out in his department car in the middle of a street while on duty in March 2019. The case was not investigated as a DUI and Meier kept his job after admitting he was drunk.

“As the report shows, critical missteps were made in APD’s immediate response to the incident,” Walsh’s report stated.

“The evidence is not sufficient to conclude, however, that these acts and failures to act were the result of improper motives or bad faith,” Walsh wrote.

Multiple Aurora officers questioned the department’s response internally and raised concerns, but leadership did not act on them. Those decisions led to a perceived failure of leadership within the department, the report said.

The 329-page report recommended the city make a series of changes including referring serious suspected criminal misconduct to an outside law enforcement agency.