Elijah McClain: Grand jury indicts police officers and paramedics in 2019 death of 23-year-old Black man

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  12 comments

By:   Stella Chan and Eric Levenson (MSN)

Elijah McClain: Grand jury indicts police officers and paramedics in 2019 death of 23-year-old Black man
A Colorado grand jury indicted three police officers and two paramedics involved in the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was stopped by police while walking home from a store, put in a carotid hold and then injected with ketamine, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Wednesday.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



A Colorado grand jury indicted three police officers and two paramedics involved in the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was stopped by police while walking home from a store, put in a carotid hold and then injected with ketamine, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Wednesday.

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Then-Aurora Police Department officers Randy Roedema, Jason Rosenblatt and Nathan Woodyard and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec were each indicted on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide as part of a 32-count indictment.

In addition, Roedema and Rosenblatt were each indicted on one count of assault and one count of crime of violence, and Cooper and Cichuniec were each indicted on three counts of assault and six counts of crime of violence.

"We're here today because Elijah McClain is not here and he should be," Weiser said. "When he died he was only 23 years old. He had his whole life ahead of him and his family and his friends must now go on and must live without him."

The grand jury returned the results of the investigation on Thursday, the eve of the second anniversary of McClain's death.

Adams County District Attorney Dave Young had initially declined to bring criminal charges because he said prosecutors lacked evidence to prove the officers caused McClain's death or that their force was unjustified.

But the case gained renewed attention last June after the police killings of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor led to mass protests under the Black Lives Matter movement. Spurred by those protests and a viral online petition, Gov. Jared Polis announced a reexamination of the case last year, and Weiser opened a grand jury investigation into the case in January.

McClain's mother, Sheneen McClain, told CNN in a phone interview that she was excited by the news of the indictments and thanked Weiser, his team and the grand jury.

"I started crying because it's been two years," she said. "It's been a long journey, you know, and it's overwhelming. I'm still processing it, you know, because this is one of those things that has never really been done and is being done right here because of my son, so it's overwhelming."

McClain's father, LaWayne Mosely, wept tears of joy at the news, according to a statement from his attorney.

"Nothing will bring back my son, but I am thankful that his killers will finally be held accountable," Mosely said in the statement.

CNN is seeking comment from the Aurora Police Department, Aurora Fire Rescue, and the defendants.

A civil investigation into the APD and AFD patterns and practices of civil rights violations is ongoing, Weiser said.

How McClain died


McClain, a massage therapist, musician and animal lover, was walking home from a convenience store with an iced tea on August 24, 2019, when he was confronted by three Aurora Police officers responding to a call about a person wearing a ski mask.

The caller described the person as "sketchy" but added he "might be a good person or a bad person." A police news release said McClain "resisted contact" with officers before a struggle ensued.

"I'm an introvert," McClain said in video recorded by body worn cameras after officers confronted him. "Please respect the boundaries that I am speaking."

"Relax," an officer said at one point, "or I'm going to have to change this situation."

Before an officer wrestled him to the ground, McClain told the officers he was trying to stop his music so that he could listen to them. During the struggle, one officer said, "He just grabbed your gun, dude." One officer told McClain that he will "bring my dog out and he's going to bite you" if McClain kept "messing around."

A letter from the Adams County District Attorney said an officer placed McClain in a carotid hold, which restricts blood flow to the brain. McClain briefly lost consciousness, the letter said, but continued struggling after officers released the hold.

The DA's letter said paramedics arrived and administered ketamine, a powerful anesthetic. McClain was taken to a hospital but had a heart attack on the way. He was declared brain dead three days later, on August 27, the letter said.

The autopsy conducted by the county coroner did not determine the cause of death but noted "intense physical exertion and a narrow left coronary artery" were contributing factors.

However, an investigative report released in February, paid for by the Aurora City Council, provides a more critical perspective on the police's and paramedics' decisions. The report criticized the officer's decision to stop McClain in the first place, which it said "did not appear to be supported" by any officer's reasonable suspicion that McClain was engaged in criminal activity.

The three officers also frisked McClain for weapons, which is legally allowed only where there is a belief that safety is in danger, the report states. The panel was not able to identify sufficient evidence that he was armed and dangerous to justify a frisk.

The report also notes the sharp contrast between officers' comments about McClain's strength and the audio and video of the incident.

"The officers' statements on the scene and in subsequent recorded interviews suggest a violent and relentless struggle," the report states. "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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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2  Sean Treacy    2 weeks ago

SO this is a relevant story? Your standards about what can be dismissed as an isolated occurrence and what is an issue of national importance seems to be entirely tied to how politically exploitable it is.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    2 weeks ago

Not really sure what the basis of your complaint is. This is a national news story today. I guess we could have had another bash Biden about Afghanistan seed.    Go ahead and make one. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    2 weeks ago
A district attorney initially cleared the cops who tackled McClain to the ground—but it took public outrage and an ...
A Colorado grand jury indicted three police officers and two paramedics involved in the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain, ...
A Colorado grand jury has indicted two police officers, a former officer and two paramedics in the 2019 death of Elijah ...
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A grand jury has returned a 32-count indictment against officers and paramedics involved in the death of Elijah McClain, a 23 ...
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Five suburban Denver police officers and medics have been indicted by a Colorado grand jury in connection with the death two ...
A grand jury has handed down charges in the 2019 death of Mr. McClain, a young Black man who was put in a chokehold while ...
A grand jury has indicted three officers and two paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain, a Black man who was put in a ...
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NPR 2h
The announcement comes just over two years since the death of McClain, 23, who had told police, "I can't breathe," after they ...

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2    2 weeks ago

UPI, CNN, CBS, The Guardian, NPR, The New York Times, USA Today

are those good enough to make it a "relevant" story for you Sean ? 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
PhD Expert
2.2.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.1    2 weeks ago

The story is two years old.

From the article: "A police news release said McClain "resisted contact" with officers before a struggle ensued."

Yet another case of resisting by someone with a health problem

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.2.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.2    2 weeks ago
The story is two years old.

The indictments happened today. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.2.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.2    2 weeks ago
Three officers fired over selfie that reenacted chokehold on Elijah McClain - CBS News

Three officers from the Aurora Police Department have been fired over a photo   reenacting the chokehold   that occurred before the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died in police custody last summer, the interim police chief announced Friday. The officer who mimicked the chokehold, Jaron Jones,   resigned  earlier this week. 

Interim Police Chief Vanessa Wilson showed the two photos that led to the officers' termination at a news conference. One photo shows three officers — identified as Jones, Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich — smiling near what Wilson described as the site of McClain's memorial. The other shows Jones reenacting a carotid hold on Dittrich, with the officers still smiling. 

"It is a crime against humanity and decency," Wilson said, adding that the photos show "a lack of morals, values and integrity."  

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.2.5  Tessylo  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.2    2 weeks ago

Victim blaming.  Why am I not surprised?

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
2.2.6  Hallux  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.4    2 weeks ago

Face it John, Elijah just ain't the right kind of Ashley.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3  Trout Giggles    2 weeks ago

Isn't Ketamine a horse tranq?

The narrow left coronary artery...was it narrow due to the chokehold?

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Participates
4  Transyferous Rex    2 weeks ago

I'm not a big fan of police stops, the basis of which are anonymous phone calls to a 911 call center. Certainly can't get on board with "sketchy dude in a mask." Was there a store robbed? Did you see him wielding a knife, robbing someone, grabbing something off of someone's porch? Nope, he is walking down the sidewalk, just looks sketchy, he's wearing a full mask...in August. Better confront him.

Reasonable suspicion? Of what? If the cops want to confront people, based on wardrobe choices, start with the folks wearing socks with their sandals. There might be some instability there. But, are we condoning the confronting of people based on perceived instability or sketchiness, without any evidence or allegation that criminality is afoot? I don't.

I'm not going to say that the cops set out to kill this kid. Take it back to the 911 call. If sketchiness, and sketchiness alone, warrants any police response, I'd say it should be limited to sitting back, and watching the "sketchy" character. That's not what happened. Cop pulls up, tells the kid to stop "because he has the right to stop him." Then the cop grabs him by the arm, after the kid is stopped. I don't want to be a cop, or confront the people cops have to confront, from time to time. But, when you treat everyone like an armed murderer, this type of situation is bound to happen. What happens if the cops tail the kid to the house, and watch him go inside, without event? Nothing. What happens if the first cop talks to the kid, without throwing his authority around, and without laying his hands on him? We will never know. I'm all for getting bad actors off of the street, but I'm also all for making sure someone is a bad actor, or in the process of some bad acts.

As maligned as Scalia was by many, he wrote several times on this very thing. It's a bad practice, and I think it goes beyond what is reasonable. Let's start by removing the notion that police contact is legitimately initiated if it is based on a third party phone call to a 911 center, wherein the caller cannot give a report of criminal activity, or suspected criminal activity. Do that, and you cut down on contacts, and these type of events. 

 
 
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