The Elijah McClain Case
(CO) – In August of 2019, Elijah McClain became the next Black male to be killed by police officers. “Mr. McClain was walking home from a convenience store on Aug. 24, 2019, when someone called 911, saying he “looked sketchy” and was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms.” That is the extent of Elijah’s crime. He looked “sketchy”. Three police officers, with the Aurora Police Department, arrived. They ordered him to stop, saying they had the right to stop him for looking suspicious.
Elijah, who was listening to music, said he was just trying to go home and for them to leave him alone. The officers immediately escalated the situation, tackling Elijah and taking him to the ground. The excessive force used on Elijah, would include two separate chokeholds, threats of a K-9 being used on him, an officer laying his whole body on top of Elijah, and paramedics injecting him with a wrong dosage amount of Ketamine. The Ketamine was injected after Elijah had already vomited more than once due to the assault.
The officers claimed that Elijah attempted to grab one of the officers’ gun, but this cannot be verified since, conveniently, all three body cameras fell off at the same time. Elijah McClain went limp after being injected with ketamine. Elijah went into cardiac arrest and was declared brain dead. Several days later, his family made the decision to take him off of life support.
The county District Attorney would not file charges, saying there wasn’t enough evidence. Fortunately, the Governor appointed a special prosecutor. A Grand Jury returned an indictment against the five men involved. Those men are the three Aurora police officers, Randy Roedema, Jason Rosenblatt, and Nathan Woodyard. The other two in the indictment are the paramedics, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec.
The indictment has a combined total of 32 charges. Those charges include Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide, and Assault. Those charges are the cold data of what happened. Be forewarned, the details in the indictment, of what the police officers and paramedics did to Elijah, are sickening.
Reforming Law Enforcement
This website does not support defunding law enforcement, however, it’s obvious that there does need to be some reform. The awards in civil lawsuits are getting larger. There was a $15 million settlement in this case. Breonna Taylor’s case was settled for $12 million. George Floyd’s family received a whopping $27 million. These people have a right to compensation for the egregious police violence their loved ones were subjected to. The answer is not to try to limit the monetary awards, the answer is to fix the problems.
Even the most hardcore supporter should be able to see that police reform is a matter of fiscal responsibility. At the current time, civil rights lawyers are getting rich and tax payers are footing the bill in higher insurance rates. Yes, cities do have insurance to cover claims, but like with any insurance, when the claims are high, the rates go up.
Too many people try to blame the victim, or the “blood-sucking” attorneys, or even the “greedy” family, yet completely ignore what the police officers did. It’s time, we as a nation, need to take our heads out of the sand and address the root of the problem,