By Logan Smith

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) — A Boulder police officer recently left the department following the last of several investigations. Waylon Lolotai opted to “transition out of city employment,” according to a press release from the City of Boulder on Thursday.

Lolotai’s conduct was investigated several times during his stint with Boulder PD and once during his previous employment with the Denver Sheriff’s Department.

Lolotai spent 28 months with Denver and resigned during an excessive force investigation. He was seen on the jail’s surveillance shoving a male inmate onto a metal staircase after a verbal exchange. He resigned in June of 2016 and disciplinary action was not taken.

Waylon Lolotai (credit: City of Boulder)

Lolotai was then hired by Boulder PD. He was caught on video shoving a woman, Michele Rodriguez, to the ground in 2018. Rodriguez filed a civil lawsuit last month naming Lolotai, the City of Boulder, and the Boulder District Attorney’s Office as defendants.

In 2019, Lolotai’s arrest of Samuel Lawrence was also recorded and reviewed. An independent investigator, Bob Troyer, a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, ruled the department and Lolotai acted within accepted protocols.

“Our officers and our Department,” wrote Mark Bliley, a BPD officer and President of the Boulder Police Officers’ Association, “have come under a considerable amount of increased scrutiny in recent months. Yet, despite having their professionalism and ethics questioned by some vocal members of the community and city leadership, I am proud that our members continue to don the uniform to serve and protect our community with the utmost professionalism and demonstrate best practices in law enforcement.”

Most recently, Lolotai was found to have violated two departmental policies, one regarding the use of social media and another pertaining to employment outside the department.

Lolotai was placed on administrative leave in early August, according to BoulderBeat, after sending threatening texts to a local NAACP representative who had been critical of Boulder PD’s employment of Lolotai. Postcards were also sent to the NAACP representative’s residence and to that of his girlfriend.

In Thursday’s press release, Boulder PD Chief Maris Herold stated the infractions were not worth termination, but that Lolotai decided to leave due to concerns about his future effectiveness as an officer in Boulder, in addition to concerns about his family’s safety after activists publicized his home address.

“While the social media posts were inconsistent with the city’s and department’s values, I believe Officer Lolotai is a skilled police officer who has the potential to make a positive difference in policing,” Herold said. “I wish him the best as he seeks new employment.”

Lolotai will be paid a monthly salary as part of his separation agreement with the department.

Lolotai graduated Centaurus High School in Lafayette in 2006 and played collegiate football at the University of Hawaii.

 

 

Logan Smith