As TFTP reported, Elijah McClain was killed by police and paramedics after he was put in a chokehold and given the sedative ketamine. The incident began when someone in the neighborhood called the police because McClain was walking down the street with groceries while wearing a mask. McClain reportedly always wore the mask because he was anemic , and often got cold, and he was an introvert.
Now, two years later, Colorado officials announced a 32-count indictment against the three officers and two paramedics involved in the death of McClain.
“What I set out to do is still not over, but I’m halfway there. I’m halfway there,” McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, told The Associated Press.
“I know this has been a long-awaited decision for Ms. McClain and her family. This tragedy will forever be imprinted on our community,” Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson after new of the indictment.
According to the report:
Officers Randy Roedema, Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt and fire department paramedic Jeremy Cooper and fire Lt. Peter Cichuniec were charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Roedema and Rosenblatt also were 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 each face three counts of second-degree assault.
The charges come after an independent investigation, commissioned by the city, ound that police had no legal basis to stop McClain that night as he had broken absolutely no law.
According to the Denver Post, the investigation also found that the department's own investigation conducted by detectives in the Major Crimes Unit — was deeply flawed — and deliberately steered to exonerate the officers involved.
The detectives failed to ask basic, critical questions of the officers involved in McClain’s death and instead “the questions frequently appeared designed to elicit specific exonerating ‘magic language’ found in court rulings,” the report states.
“In addition, the report of the Major Crime Unit stretched the record to exonerate the officers rather than present a neutral version of the facts,” the investigators wrote.
“It is hard to imagine any other persons involved in a fatal incident being interviewed as these officers were,” the investigators continued.
“The body worn camera audio, limited video, and Major Crime’s interviews with the officers tell two contrasting stories,” the report states. “The officers’ statements on the scene and in subsequent recorded interviews suggest a violent and relentless struggle. The limited video, and the audio from the body worn cameras, reveal Mr. McClain surrounded by officers, all larger than he, crying out in pain, apologizing, explaining himself, and pleading with the officers.”
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The investigation also implicated the EMTs who showed up and injected McClain with ketamine at the request of the officers. Aside from blindly following cops' orders to inject someone with ketamine, EMTs also failed to accurately determine McClain's weight, leading to the 140 pound innocent man receiving a dose for a 190 pound man.
“Aurora Fire appears to have accepted the officers’ impression that Mr. McClain had excited delirium without corroborating that impression through meaningful observation or diagnostic examination of Mr. McClain,” the investigators wrote.
At the time of his death, McClain had never gotten so much as a speeding ticket in his life.
Moments after police approached McClain claiming that he fit the description of a suspect. They claim that he resisted arrest and needed to be subdued. McClain had committed no crime when police initiated force against him. He was merely walking home from the store after purchasing some tea.
At the time, police claimed body camera footage showed McClain reaching for a gun, but this was unsubstantiated.
At a press conference after police killed him, police chief Metz told reporters that “Elijah grabbed the grip of an officer’s holstered gun. A struggle ensued to the ground where three body-worn cameras did become dislodged."
But this was simply not true.
"He is laying on the ground vomiting, he is begging, he is saying, 'I can't breathe.' One of the officers says, 'Don't move again. If you move again, I'm calling in a dog to bite you,'" said Mari Newman, the McClain's lawyer, completely dismantling the official story.
During the altercation, McClain was placed in a carotid restraint, a technique that was recently banned by the Aurora Police Department. While McClain was restrained, The Aurora Fire Department was called to the scene to give him ketamine, a strong sedative. After being choked out and forcibly drugged for committing no crime, McClain went into cardiac arrest twice while on the way to the hospital.
In his last few words on this planet, McClain could be heard saying, "I'm an introvert. I'm just different. That's all. I'm so sorry. I have no gun. I don't do that stuff. I don't do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don't even kill flies! I don't eat meat! But I don't judge people, I don't judge people who do eat meat. Forgive me ... I'm so sorry."
He was innocent, successful, and a light in this often dark world, and police killed him for being different. Then, after they killed him, they went back to the scene of the crime and reenacted it for fun.
Finally, his family is seeing some sort of accountability.