Fired Aurora police officer Jason Rosenblatt sues city, interim chief

Jason Rosenblatt, one of three Aurora police officers fired over photos mocking the death of Elijah McClain, has sued the city and interim Chief Vanessa Wilson over his dismissal.

Rosenblatt, who was one of the officers who restrained McClain before he died, had received the pictures taken by three other cops and replied “ha ha,” according to Wilson. Rosenblatt was not disciplined for his role in the death but was terminated July 3 after an investigation into the pictures. Two officers who appeared in the photos also were fired, and a third resigned before he was fired.

The lawsuit, first reported Wednesday by Fox31, was filed July 2 after Wilson had told Rosenblatt she planned to fire him. City Manager Jim Twombly also is a defendant.

In the complaint, Rosenblatt argued that Wilson wrongfully denied his request to take the disciplinary decision to the city’s Independent Review Board. The board, which has four civilian members and four police members, advises the police chief on officer discipline and is part of the city’s human resources department.

During a July 3 news conference announcing the firings, Wilson said she had the discretion to deny a review board request and that she was within her powers as chief to terminate the officers.

The lawsuit requested the judge make a quick decision in the case, but it has not been adjudicated. There’s no way to know whether an independent review board investigation would change the outcome of Rosenblatt’s tenure at the department but it most likely would have delayed a decision by months.

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