Aurora officer fired for racial slur, reinstated following appeal

Posted at 10:32 AM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 12:32:04-04

A Colorado police officer fired for using a racial slur has been reinstated.

Police Chief Nick Metz decided to fire Lieutenant Chuck DeShazer after he was caught calling people "Alabama porch monkeys" on a subordinate’s body camera.

"I was appalled. I was hurt. And the reason I was hurt was because that comment is not indicative of the men and women of this police department," said Metz, who conducted an investigation and decided to fire DeShazer. "As a lieutenant and as a leader in this agency, I pretty quickly lost confidence that this person could lead others and also lost confidence in his ability to be a police officer."

DeShazer appealed to the Civil Service Commission, which ruled in his favor.

On June 18, 2017, Denver police shot a suspect who ran from them into Aurora. The Aurora Police Department responded and, according to city records, encountered "unruly" neighbors upset over the shooting.

the Commission acknowledged that DeShazer violated department policy and that his language was "absolutely reprehensible."

They also acknowledged that DeShazer had been written up three times before, once for making sexually offensive comments.

The Commission also considered discipline previously imposed on other officers for highly inflammatory comments. The Commission noted that no officer had ever been fired for violating the department policy DeShazer went against.

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