The Aurora Police Association Board of Directors would like to convey our shock, concern and disappointment in regards to the recent court decision involving the shooting of one of our officers, Ryan Burns. The Aurora Police Association represents the majority of the brave women and men of the Aurora Police Department. Our officers now feel as though the ever-present targets on our backs just became larger and brighter due to the jury’s verdict in Adams County Court case 2014CR3408.
Somehow the jury was led to believe that the actions of the defendant, (we will not glorify this cowardly individual by mentioning his name) were reckless in nature rather than a blatant attempt to murder and seriously injure the uniformed police officer he shot. The offender, who previously was on probation, was in possession of a handgun and made eye contact with Officer Burns before shooting him. As Officer Burns approached the offender in a stolen vehicle the offender intentionally shot him. This criminal act was somehow interpreted by the jury as a reckless act worthy of a much lesser charge of attempted manslaughter.
If it was not for the heroic lifesaving efforts of his car partner and responding officers, Officer Ryan Burns would have died at the scene according to medical doctors at the hospital.
There are many possible causes for this miscarriage of justice but we have to believe that the directions received by the jury from the judge were faulty at worst or misunderstood at best. This judge also ordered that all Aurora Police Officers who attended the proceedings or testified would not be allowed to wear their police uniform. The same uniform that our sisters and brothers in Law Enforcement have died for, bared the blood of countless victims during the Century 16 theater massacre, and wiped our own blood off of after being assaulted during arrests. Judge Robert Walker Kiesnowski Jr., deemed the uniforms worn by police officers to be too prejudicial to the jury. The judge’s decision to ban uniformed officers from the court room was a slap in the face to all of law enforcement professionals who proudly wear their uniform and bare the duty, integrity and professionalism it resembles.
We can only hope that Judge Kiesnowski will impose upon the offender the maximum sentence allowed by law. Only then will there be some solace for Officer Burns, his family and his Law Enforcement sisters and brothers. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 15th, 2016 at 8:30 AM in Rm#406 at the Adams County Justice Center. The Aurora Police Association encourages its sister and brothers in Law Enforcement to attend in uniform and show your support.
Aurora Police Association – President
1010 S. Joliet St. Suite 102
Aurora, CO 80012
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