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Aurora Police Association Launches 'No Confidence Vote' On Chief, Cites 'Hysterical Overreaction'

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- The Aurora Police Association, which represents about 250 of the Aurora Police Department's 690 uniformed officers, has launched a no confidence vote on Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson.

"The poll is a simple yes or no question on whether the members feel confident in her leadership," said APA President Doug Wilkinson. "It is not going well for her."

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(credit: CBS)

He said the vote will end Thursday evening and the results will be presented to city leadership.

"I'm hopeful that the city leadership will realize the crisis we are in and remove Chief Wilson. That decision will be up to them," said Wilkinson.

CBS4 emailed a spokesperson for Chief Wilson and is awaiting a response to the no confidence move. A spokesman for the city of Aurora said they would have a statement later on Monday.

Wilkinson said the vote began after a CBS4 report last Thursday that Wilson was ordering an internal affairs investigation and had placed an officer on leave in connection with a May 15 traffic stop.

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(credit: CBS)

The department's Force Review Board examined the incident in June and suggested additional training for the primary officer in the incident, Gabriel Nestor, including de-escalation, increased communication and traffic stop safety.

That appeared to be the end of the incident, but last week, as CBS4 was preparing to air a report on the case, Wilson said she reviewed the body cam video of the incident and decided to take further action.

"She does not believe the stop met the expectation of professionalism that she expects," said APD public information officer Agent Matthew Longshore.

The department said Wilson decided to initiate a full investigation "out of an abundance of caution."

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Interim Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson (credit: CBS)

Wilkinson told CBS4, "The decision of the chief to reinvestigate the previously cleared use of force was a hysterical overreaction. It is the latest in a long line of such overreactions that has destroyed morale. I don't think we can afford for this to continue to happen."

The Aurora branch of the Fraternal Order of Police is also expressing no confidence in Wilson.

In a letter to members Friday night, Marc Sears, the local FOP President, wrote, "To reopen this investigation and put an officer on paid leave is unacceptable in the eyes of your executive board."

Sears, who did not respond to inquiries from CBS4, said he informed Chief Wilson and City Management that the FOP "was officially advising them that the bargaining unit has NO CONFIDENCE in the Chief's Office."

Sears said he had spoken with Deputy City Manager Jason Batchelor who "immediately stated that he hears us loud and clear and accepted his part in allowing this to occur."

Reagan Pena, a spokesperson for the City of Aurora, told CBS4 late on Monday the city would not be making a statement on the no confidence vote by the APA and the no confidence statement from the FOP.

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