DENVER — On May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd in Minnesota sparked protests across the world.
The impetus may have been singular, but the calls for change were numerous.
In Colorado, the protests for police reform took on a character of their own.
"As we talk about what's happening nationally, we have to talk about right here in Aurora and our state," said Omar Montgomery, Aurora NAACP president. "It was the protests of 2020 that were national that were also right here in Aurora, Colorado."
At least 40 states and the District of Columbia have already passed sweeping legislation to reform policing since George Floyd's death, including Colorado, which passed Senate Bill 217. That changed the standard as to when police can use deadly force and bans the use of a carotid hold.
"We have state legislation that holds law enforcement officers accountable that abuse their power," Montgomery said. "Trust is broken, but I do think it can be regained. I think we're on the right track. But at the same time, we got to see it in action as these events occur."
Montgomery says a major hurdle remains to significant progress in Aurora: justice for the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of police.
"We still need to see justice for Elijah McClain," he said. "We need that case to be over with in order for us to truly to begin to talk about healing."