Law Enforcement

Inside Firing of Aurora Cop Who Wrote Crackheads-and-Molesters "Diversity" Letter

An image from the home page of the Aurora Police Department website.
An image from the home page of the Aurora Police Department website. Aurora Police Department
Last November, Aurora Police Department Officer Doug Wilkinson, the head of the Aurora Police Association, was put on administrative leave after writing a letter that mocked a consent decree intended to address a history of racially biased policing and portrayed Aurora as being filled with criminals, scumbags and people who apparently aren't American enough for him.

In one section, Wilkinson argued that to "match the 'diversity' of 'the community,' we could make sure to hire 10% illegal aliens, 50% weed smokers, 10% Crackheads, and a few child molesters and murderers to round it out. You know, so we can make the department look like the 'community.'"

On February 3, the office of Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson announced that Wilkinson, who'd been reassigned to patrol division, had been fired for violating the City of Aurora's anti-harassment policy and the APD's directive regarding discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment.

Wilkinson, who'd been on the force since 2002, sent his nastygram to 235 department members on November 16. That was the same day the city announced that it had agreed to the consent decree after intervention by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and shortly before finalizing a $15 million settlement with the family of Elijah McClain, a Black man who died in 2019 after a brutal encounter with Aurora cops.

The McClain deal was hardly the first of its kind. Between 2003 and 2019, at least thirteen people of color suffered abuse at the hands of Aurora police officers, and resolving these matters cost the city approximately $4.6 million. This ACLU of Colorado graphic has the details:
According to the APD, five recipients of Wilkinson's letter complained to the department, but he didn't immediately back down from his remarks. "I stand by the email," he told Fox31, "We should be hiring, promoting and assigning people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin."

Here's the complete text of the Wilkinson letter:
Subject: APA Update on the Consent Decree

Today we saw the release of the consent decree by the Attorney General’s office. In general terms I don’t think there are any surprises, though I am left with a few questions I hope someone will be able to answer. On the good side, the state government has seen through the ridiculous practice of online “training” that we’ve fallen into over the last few years. It looks like one way or another they are going to force the department to do meaningful in person training, hopefully with useful information.

On the issue of the Civil Service commission practice we are talking with our attorneys about the State’s capacity to order the Commission to change their hiring, promotion, and discipline practices without changing charter. I’ll let you know what comes of that.

If the State is able to do so, the elephant in the room for some of you is the “diversity” issue in hiring and promotions. “Diversity” isn’t defined or justified by them. I suppose that the city could do political polling to make sure that the average politics of the department reflects the political “diversity” of “the community”. Or, to match the “diversity” of “the community”, we could make sure to hire 10% illegal aliens, 50% weed smokers, 10% Crackheads, and a few child molesters and murderers to round it out. You know, so we can make the department to look like the “community”.

But I’m pretty sure that’s not the “diversity” they are talking about. I’m pretty sure they are simply talking about the only currency leftists deal in: identity politics. We’d prefer that they focus on intelligence, personal ethics, and courage, which should be our only criteria for hiring and promotion. We should only be interested in merit. But that will never do. They’re addicted to race and sex politics.

The decree indicates that they want to replace as many of the department’s white males as possible with as many women and minorities as possible. It’s as simple as that. To do that they are going to hire and promote non-whites and non-males wherever they can. Internally, we’ll probably double down on the racist practice of holding “invitation only” promotion practice sessions, you know, for the right groups. This has been going on for years, and is shameful for anyone who has ever participated in it, but it will never provide the numbers they fantasize about.

So, the two cards left to play are recruiting and retention. If you are wondering why they apparently couldn’t care less about attrition you should consider that demographic change has been a foundational goal of “the new way” for years. They can’t fundamentally change the department if a significant number of the white males refuse to leave. Still, their goal is very unlikely to be accomplished in the theoretical five years of the consent decree (maybe, the obviously impossible goal is simply meant to make the decree perpetual). We already hire every minority that passes the minimum requirements. We can’t make people apply, and people of different race and sex groups apply for police jobs at different rates. It’s a cultural thing that we can’t control and that won’t quickly change. Other than lowering the hiring standards, which we all know has been happening and will continue to happen, but can only go so far, they are going to be stuck wringing their hands.

So, yes, the State’s plan, fully embraced by the city, is literally systematically sexist and racist. The irony is impossibly thick. The “diversity” hiring and promotion plan won’t work and isn’t your problem so if I were you I’d forget about it. The department will be deploying new doctrine for only charging, arresting, or fighting certain percentages of various race groups in order to avoid disparate impacts. If you push back on this you will lose. Just go with the flow. There will be new reporting requirements for everyone you contact on all of your calls. Don’t blow that off. You need to pay careful attention to such documentation. Take the time to do it precisely. If you cut corners on it in order to address the pending calls and then get in trouble I am going to make fun of you. Look out for each other. Remember that per the law you must always exhaust all POSSIBLE non-violent options before using any force, and per the department one of those options is to walk away. And don’t forget to enjoy your six in-service days!
Westword has reached out to Wilkinson and the Aurora Police Association regarding his termination. Click to read the Aurora Police Department's order about Douglas Wilkinson.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts