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Colorado Commission Rehires Officer Who Referred to Black Folks as ‘Alabama Porch Monkeys’

A Colorado officer fired by his police chief after making disparaging racial remarks while on the scene of an officer-involved shooting is headed back to work after being reinstated by a city commission.

Former Aurora police Lt. Charles DeShazer was terminated last June after body camera video caught him referring to a group of Black people who’d gathered at the scene as “Alabama porch monkeys,” FOX 31 Denver reported. No one in the public caught wind of DeShazer’s “highly inappropriate and racially inflammatory comment,” but the remark was heard by two Aurora PD supervisors and the body camera of another officer.

Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz fired DeShazer in September following an internal investigation.

“The racially insensitive comment made by Sgt. DeShazer is in direct contradiction to the values of the Aurora Police Department,” Metz wrote in a Facebook post. “We hold ourselves to the highest standards, and when one of our officers fall short, we strive to take immediate and necessary action to ensure they’re held accountable.”


Posted by Aurora Police Department on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

DeShazer appealed his termination with the city’s Civil Service Commission, who decided last month that the former officer only deserved to be demoted. According to the Witchita Eagle, DeShazer will be bumped from lieutenant to sergeant and won’t receive back pay for the 10 months he wasn’t employed by the department. Commission voted 3-1 to reinstate the disgraced officer.

Metz said while he respects the commission’s decision, but he doesn’t agree with it. He said officers of all races were shocked by DeShazer’s comments and aren’t thrilled that he was re-hired.

“It’s not the decision I was hoping for but one we’ll accept and move forward,” he told FOX 31 Denver, adding that he felt his initial decision to fire DeShazer was the “correct course of action.”

“I felt that it would send a strong message internally and externally about what our expectations are in this agency and we have set a high bar,” the police chief said.

Metz insisted DeShazer would not be dealing with the public upon his return to work.

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