As controversy swirls about the city of Aurora’s response after an intoxicated Aurora police officer was found passed out inside his patrol car, FOX 31 recently spoke with Doug Richards for perspective about the incident and the increasingly controversial investigation.
Newly released police bodycam footage shows Aurora Officer Nate Meier unconscious behind the wheel of his still-running patrol car in an Aurora intersection last March. Police Chief Nick Metz has drawn controversy for declining to investigate the officer for driving while intoxicated even though responding officers noted that they smelled alcohol at the scene, and Meier later admitted to drinking at his home before the incident.
Release of the police video raises serious questions about why Meier’s discipline was limited to a demotion in rank and an unpaid suspension, Richards told FOX 31.
“I think that the public had the opportunity to review and see this police officer in uniform, armed, passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle, and I think that they were shocked,” said Richards, a former state and federal prosecutor with experience prosecuting and defending vehicle-related crimes. “It feels like there’s a second set of rules.”
Former U.S. Attorney John Walsh is currently investigating the accident and the police department’s response. He has announced that his findings will be released to the public.