Three Aurora police officers and two paramedics are being faced with the criminal indictment in the death of Elijah McClain by a grand jury; see everything you need to know about the case.
On Wednesday, 1 September 2021, the Grand Jury concluded in the case that gave answers to the cries for justice from thousands who demanded arrests during protests against racial injustice and police brutality following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Who is Elijah McClain?
Elijah McClain is a 23-year-old black man who died two years ago in suburban Denver due to police officers’ use of excessive force. People who knew him say that he is an introvert and loved playing the violin.
On the night of 24 August 2019, McClain was walking to a convenience store to purchase tea when someone called 911 to report a suspicious person. The three Aurora police officers confronted McClain as he returned home.
When he refused to stop walking, the officers tackled him to the ground and handcuffed him. At the same time, paramedics injected him with the powerful sedative while ignoring his pleas to be left alone.
After the injection, he was being taken to the hospital but suffered a cardiac arrest on the way. He was declared brain dead at the hospital and died on 30 August 2019 after being removed from life support.
According to the 33-page indictment document, which regarded his death as a homicide, the officers didn’t stop choking Elijah McClain, even after hearing his statements of not being able to breathe. After choking him to the point of unconsciousness, they didn’t bother to check his vital signs.
The paramedics also failed to physically check McClain for vitals before diagnosing him with excited delirium and injecting him with an overdose of ketamine.
“A forensic pathologist opined that the cause of death for Mr McClain was complications following acute ketamine administration during violent subdual and restraint by law enforcement and emergency response personnel, and the manner of death was a homicide,” it reads in part.
On Wednesday, an arrest warrant was issued for the three officers and two paramedics. Rosenblatt, Woodyard, Cooper and Cichuniec turned themselves in to the Glendale Police Department.
They were booked and released on a $10,000 bond. However, it is still unclear if Rodema has turned himself in elsewhere.
Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly revealed in a statement that the officers and paramedics who still work for the city of Aurora – Woodyard, Roedema, Cooper and Cichuniec, have been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of the criminal charges.
All five face charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. The news has been a cause of celebration for many who sought justice for the death of Elijah McClain.
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