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Video of Colorado cop’s racist comment got him fired. But the city rehired him

Lt. Charles DeShazer with the Aurora Police Department in Colorado was fired after supervisors and a body camera heard him make a “racially insensitive” remark. The city’s Civil Service Commission rehired him after an appeal.
Lt. Charles DeShazer with the Aurora Police Department in Colorado was fired after supervisors and a body camera heard him make a “racially insensitive” remark. The city’s Civil Service Commission rehired him after an appeal. @DenverChannel/Twitter

An officer who was fired by his police chief after making a "racially insensitive comment" while on the scene of a shooting will be back on the job after a city commission rehired him.

Former Aurora Police Lt. Charles DeShazer can be heard saying, "We got the Alabama porch monkeys all contained" in the body camera footage obtained by Denver7.

DeShazer was referring to a crowd of black people near the scene of the shooting, KDVR reported. Nobody in the public heard the comment, according to Denver7.

The "highly inappropriate and racially inflammatory comment" was heard by two Aurora Police Department supervisors and the body cam of another officer, according to a Facebook post by Chief Nick Metz. DeShazer made the racial remark while on the scene of an officer-involved shooting on June 18, 2017.

"Following the investigation, I terminated Lt. DeShazer on September 1, 2017," the post says. " ... The racially insensitive comment made by Sgt. DeShazer is in direct contradiction to the values of the Aurora Police Department."

After DeShazer was fired, he appealed the termination to the city's Civil Service Commission.

In a hearing last month, the commissioners agreed that the officer needed "substantial discipline," the chief wrote, but they decided to rehire DeShazer and instead demoted him from lieutenant to sergeant. He will not be paid back for the 10 months when he wasn't working for the department.

"I respect their decision, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with it," Metz told Denver7.

The chief also told KDVR that it was not the decision he was hoping for.

"I felt the termination was the correct course of action," Metz told KDVR. "I felt that it would send a strong message internally and externally about what our expectations are in this agency and we have set a high bar."

Metz told the station that officers of all races are "absolutely appalled" by what DeShazer said and are not happy that he was rehired.

In his Facebook post, Metz said DeShazer will in the department's academy before he gets his new assignment.

"I can assure the community that Sgt. DeShazer will not be in a supervisory or citizen-facing role," he said.

A police body camera video leaked to Denver7 Investigates shows the son of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock using a slur against an Aurora police officer during a traffic stop.

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