Aurora Police Officer Nathan Woodyard will return to the department after he was acquitted in the death of Elijah McClain earlier this month. Aof manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the 23-year-old's death in 2019.
According to the Aurora Police Department, Woodyard is no longer suspended without pay following his Nov. 6 acquittal. He will reintegrate with the department and is currently on restricted duty. That means he is not in uniform, has no public contact and no enforcement actions pending next steps in the reintegration process.
In accordance with the Aurora City Charter, Section 3-16(j), "Indictment of a member of the Civil Service, or the filing of an information or felony complaint against him by a prosecuting agency, charging any felony shall be cause for an immediate and indefinite suspension without pay upon order of the Chief, provided that such suspension shall be terminated by restoration to the service or by discharge as soon as the decision of the court becomes final."
The department said the length of the reintegration process will depend on the employee, the length of their extended absence and other circumstances.
"Consequently, Mr. Woodyard would need to undergo reintegration for a period of time as numerous policies and practices at the Aurora Police Department have changed since he was placed on administrative leave without pay in Sept. 2021. Upon successful completion of the reintegration process and after accounting for any other circumstances that may arise, Mr. Woodyard would be eligible for reassignment to a position within the department at the chief's discretion," stated the department in a news release.
Woodyard is among three Aurora police officers and two paramedics charged in McClain's 2019 death. The trial against the two other officers resulted inlast month with one convicted of homicide and one acquitted. The after a jury was seated on Tuesday afternoon.
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