Elijah McClain Wiki
Elijah McClain Biography
Who was Elijah McClain?
Three Denver suburban police officers and two paramedics were charged with manslaughter and other charges in the death of Elijah McClain, a black man who was strangled and injected with a powerful sedative two years ago, the Colorado attorney general said Wednesday. .
The 23-year-old’s death drew attention during protests last year against racial injustice and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
McClain’s pleading words captured on police body
McClain’s pleading words captured on police body camera video, “I am different,” were posted at protests and spoken by celebrities who joined those calling for the prosecution of the officers who detained the McClain as he walked down the city street. from Aurora after a 911 caller reported that he looked suspicious.
Stories about McClain, a massage therapist described by family and friends as a gentle and kind introvert, filled social media, including how he volunteered to play his violin to comfort cats at an animal shelter. .
The Aurora Police Department has been plagued with allegations of misconduct against people of color, including an officer charged this summer with pistol-whipping a black man during an arrest. The new department head has promised to rebuild public trust.
Attorney General Phil Weiser said :
Attorney General Phil Weiser said a grand jury indicted Agents Randy Roedema, Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt and Fire Department Paramedic Jeremy Cooper and Fire Lt. Peter Cichuniec on charges of criminal negligence and manslaughter.
Roedema and Rosenblatt were also charged with second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and one count of a crime of violence related to the assault charge. Cooper and Cichuniec also face three counts of second-degree assault.
The Associated Press has requested comment from attorneys for the defendants and police said they were working on a statement.
“Our goal is to seek justice for Elijah McClain, for his family and his friends,” Weiser said at a brief news conference, where he did not respond to questions.
“He was a son, a nephew, a brother, a friend. When he died, he was only 23 years old, ”Weiser said. “He had his whole life ahead of him.”
Mother Sheneen McClain “is emotionally overwhelmed by this news and appreciates the hard work of Phil Weiser and the rest of his team. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her son Elijah, ”according to a statement from her lawyer, Qusair Mohamedbhai.
Facing pressure during nationwide protests last year, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis ordered Weiser to open a new criminal investigation. A district attorney had said in 2019 that he could not charge officers because an autopsy could not determine how McClain died.
The officer turns McClain over and says, “Relax, or I’ll have to change this.” As the other officers help restrain McClain, he asks them to release him, saying, “You started arresting me and I was stopping my music to listen.”
The officers’ body cameras go off when McClain is moved to the grass, but an officer can be heard saying that McClain grabbed one of his guns. McClain tries to explain himself and sometimes screams or cries. He says that he can’t breathe and that he was on his way home.
“I’m just different. I’m just different, that’s all. That’s all I was doing. I’m really sorry. I don’t have a weapon. I don’t do those things. I don’t fight. Why were you attacking me? I don’t even make weapons. I kill flies, ”he said.
An officer eventually retrieves the camera from him, which shows McClain handcuffed, lying on his side, and periodically vomiting while another officer bends over him.
Paramedics arrived and injected the 140-pound (63.5-kilogram) McClain with 500 milligrams of ketamine, more than 1 1/2 times the dose for his weight. The fire department can use the drug to sedate combative or aggressive individuals, but there is a lack of police training, conflicting medical standards, and non-existent protocols that have resulted in hospitalizations and even deaths when used during police encounters.
Within five minutes, according to a federal lawsuit by McClain’s family, he stopped breathing. He was later declared brain dead and life support was removed.
A pathologist who performed an autopsy said a combination of coronary artery narrowing and physical exertion contributed to McClain’s death. Dr. Stephen Cina found no evidence of a ketamine overdose and said that several other possibilities could not be ruled out, including an unexpected reaction to ketamine or strangulation causing an irregular heartbeat.
The family’s lawsuit alleges that McClain died as a result of a dramatic increase in lactic acid in his blood caused by excessive force used by police for approximately 18 minutes, combined with the effects of ketamine. They claim that the police continued to “torture” McClain even after he was immobilized, a treatment they say is the result of the department’s story of “unconstitutional racist brutality.”
The strangulation used on McClain has been banned by police departments and some states, including Colorado, following Floyd’s murder.
The attorney general’s announcement comes after three Aurora officers, including Rosenblatt, one of those charged in McClain’s death, were fired and one resigned last year over photos mimicking the strangulation used on the 23-year-old. years.
Police Chief Vanessa Wilson promised a change, but spent her first days as chief last year apologizing after officers put four black girls on the ground and handcuffed two of them next to a car that police suspected of having. been stolen, but it turned out not to be.
In July, an Aurora police officer was charged with battery after being caught on video with a body camera whipping and suffocating a black man during an arrest. Another officer was charged with failing to intervene as required by the new law on police responsibility.
It was one of several investigations motivated at least in part by McClain’s death, including separate reviews commissioned by the City of Aurora and a comprehensive review by the Police Department. The attorney general’s office is also conducting a civil rights investigation at the agency, the first under a new Colorado police liability law.
Aurora’s highly critical review found no evidence to warrant officers detaining McClain as he was walking home from the store on August 24, 2019, after a 911 caller reported a man wearing a ski mask and He was waving his hands which seemed “lazy”. His family said McClain wore the mask because he had anemia that made him catch colds easily.
Police body camera video shows an officer approaching McClain on the sidewalk and saying, “I have the right to stop you because you are suspicious.”