The city announced Wednesday that Daniel J. Oates will be acting as interim chief. He was the Aurora police chief from 2005 to 2014. After which, he retired as Miami Beach police chief.
Jim Twombly, the city manager, stated that Oates was hired because he "has established trust within our community as well as many of our officers."
Twombly fired Vanessa Wilson as Police Chief in December. Wilson was appointed in 2020 to be Colorado's third largest city. The case of Elijah McClain's death attracted widespread attention following protests against police brutality and racial injustice. McClain was put in a chokehold by police and given the powerful sedative, ketamine, in 2019.
Twombly was kind enough to praise Wilson's work in the community, but he said that he fired Wilson because of concerns about her leadership.
Wilson disagreed with Twombly's assessment, and claimed she was expelled for political reasons. After an investigation by the state Attorney General inciting McClain's passing, Wilson's lawyers claimed that the new conservative majority of the city council didn't support Wilson's attempts to implement reforms required under the consent decree.
Three police officers and two paramedics were also indicted by the attorney general in McClain’s death.