Elijah McClain: Grand Jury Indicts Three Colorado Police Officers, Two Medics In 2019 Killing

Elijah McClain: Grand Jury Indicts Three Colorado Police Officers, Two Medics In 2019 Killing
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Photos: McClain Family\YouTube

On Wednesday, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced that three former Aurora Police officers, and two medics, have been indicted by a grand jury for the 2019 murder of Elijah McClain.

According to CNN, "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."

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser explained the indictment.

"Whenever a person dies after an encounter with law enforcement, the community deserves a thorough investigation. Mr. McClain's family deserves it. And justice requires it," Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said Wednesday. "Make no mistake, we recognize this case will be difficult to prosecute. In so doing, we advance the rule of law and the commitment that everyone is accountable and equal under the law."

Weiser also added: "We're here today because Elijah McClain is not here and he should be. 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 local police union claim the officers did nothing wrong---and denounced what they call the "hysterical overreaction to this case."

They blamed McClain for his death saying: "Our officers did nothing wrong. Sadly, Mr. McClain died due to a combination of exertion due to his decision to violently resist arrest and a pre-existing heart condition. The hysterical overreaction to this case has severely damaged the police department. Inevitably, the public are the ones who've paid the price."

However, in February, 2021, a local City Council investigation report found that the officers had no legal basis to stop, detain--or frisk McClain. It also criticized the paramedics decision to inject him with the sedative ketamine.

The 23-year-old McClain ( a massage therapist, musician and animal lover) was stopped on August 24th, 2019 after some unknown person called police to complain that McClain was wearing a ski mask, looked "sketchy," and was probably armed. McLain's family has pointed out that he suffered from anemia and got cold easily.

No gun was found on McClain.

The unarmed McClain was attacked by the three officers, handcuffed behind his back---and given ketamine which apparently led to cardiac arrest. At the hospital, he was declared brain dead and was removed from life support on August 30th. McClain, as he was being killed, repeated words than have been heard in other cases where police have killed and murdered Black people: “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe please. I can’t. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe, please stop."

McClain's parents, Sheneen McClain and LaWayne Mosely, addressed Wednesday's indictment.

Sheneen McClain said: "I started crying because it's been two years.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."

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

In a statement released after the indictments were announced, NAACP President Derrick Johnson said: "Elijah McClain was killed more than two years ago. While today's charges are a step towards accountability, Two years is too long. Our justice system has failed Elijah McClain and his family. Those responsible must be held accountable, but true justice would mean reforming policing in America."

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