Several Aurora, CO, police officers who filled out an Aurora Police Association survey after a recent, mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training session said they were offended by the presentation.
“We did the survey because some of our members were upset about the content,” said Doug Wilkinson, the president of the Aurora Police Association.
“The results showed that approximately 90% of the 50 people who responded were profoundly insulted by the implication that they are racists,” Wilkinson told KDVR.
Nita Mosby Tyler and a colleague at Denver’s The Equity Project provided the training, which Mosby Tyler referred to as a “dialogue” about current societal sentiments around policing and bias and race.
“Because of the social climate around racial reckoning in our country, I was going to have to talk about race and it’s ugly history, and so we talked about things like being in slave states, where at that time, policing was associated with being the slave patrol,” she said.
“There are other parts of the country where policing was really more affiliated with law and order. It just depended on where you were in the country,” she added, “but the important thing about that conversation is that those sentiments travel through the generations…sometimes, it’s not about the things that are happening most recently, it’s about the history that they learned about,” she said.
Marc Sears serves as the local president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 49, the official labor union for the Aurora Police Department, which did not conduct the survey.
“Being called a modern-day slave catcher is not appropriate at all, and it’s offensive, and it shouldn’t be thought of that way,” he said.