AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The Aurora Police Chief is speaking out for the first time following an independent investigation into the death of Elijah McClain.
“Elijah McClain should still be here today,” said Aurora Police Chief, Vanessa Wilson. “I will hold myself and our officers accountable.”READ MORE: Elijah McClain Report: Aurora Police Detective Tells 911 'He Got The Help He Needed'
The report, released Monday, is highly critical of how Aurora Police and Aurora Fire paramedics handled the interaction with McClain. During a press conference Tuesday morning, Wilson would not comment on disciplinary action against the officers involved.
“The governor has ordered that the Attorney General look into the case with Elijah and his death, and therefore it is completely inappropriate for me to comment on wrongdoing or anything that I shouldn’t elaborate on until the grand jury has the opportunity to look at case with their eyes,” said Wilson.
Aurora Fire Chief Fernando Gray addressed the department’s use of the ketamine, the sedative used on McClain.
“We do not envision reimplementing ketamine into our department’s system within the next 30 days,” said Gray.
Tuesday afternoon, the independent panel addressed limitations in their investigation.
“Not being able to talk to any of the individuals that were there that evening was the significant limitation,” said Jonathan Smith, an independent investigator. “The officers have both individual interests in terms of their potential outcome of their criminal exposure, but also in terms of their careers.”
With the credibility of Aurora Police Department in question, Wilson believes it’s time to start over.
“I know the trust is broken, and I know we have a long way to go,” she said.
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman also spoke out about the independent investigation’s finding Tuesday via Twitter:
“Seeing video and reports on the tragic death of Elijah McClain has always been heart-wrenching, and those feelings were only intensified when I read the report. The report’s conclusions reveal a number of problems and oversights that prevent our residents from getting the level of safe and equal response they deserve from our police officers, firefighters and paramedics. I am saddened by this report and call on our City Council to carefully ensure that these recommendations are put into place quickly and effectively. I also call on our city management and public safety chiefs to redouble their ongoing efforts to establish a new culture of accountability and service with even greater urgency in light of this report. We must take every possible step to rebuild our community’s trust. I am going to do everything in my power to ensure these outcomes.”