Aurora Officer Found Drunk in His Patrol Car Will Not Be Charged
The Aurora Police officer who was found drunk in his patrol car last year will not be charged, according to 9News.
The Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office is not pressing charges, with DA for the 18th Judicial District George Brauchler calling the case "...the weakest DUI we've ever moved forward on."
48-year-old Officer Nate Meier was found unresponsive in his patrol car on March 29, 2019 after a woman called 911 with a report of an unconscious man.
His vehicle was in the middle of East Mississippi Avenue. The car was running and his foot was on the brake. Meier was in uniform and had his weapon on him.
Responders had to break a window to get to Meier. They then transported him to a hospital.
Brauchler, however, believes that there is not enough evidence to charge Meier.
He also disapproved of how the Aurora Police Department (APD) handled the investigation, noting that his office had to learn of the incident through local media 257 days later.
Despite officers stating they smelled alcohol on Meier, they never orchestrated a blood test on him, which would have been a crucial element in the investigation.
APD later asserted that there was no evidence at the scene suggesting alcohol was involved, and that their officers "treated it as an emergency medical situation."
Brauchler is unconvinced: "Bottom line is, if one of us had been in that car and not Officer Nate Meier, you ask me 'Do I think it would have been treated different?' I do."
While he won't be facing charges, Meier received an unpaid suspension, and was demoted from an agent to an officer.
The other officers on the scene that day, including Deputy Chief Paul O'Keefe, were also disciplined.
O'Keefe, who was supposed to take over as interim chief, has now resigned from his position.
Disciplinary actions aside, Brauchler is angered by the results of the case.
"With an agency I put a great deal of trust in, I think it's embarassing for the 99.9% of men and women there that they have to go through the community with this kind of thing over their head," he said. "I'm frustrated.