Elijah McClain’s story is similar to many others whose lives have been taken by the hands of law enforcement officers. McClain was a 23-year-old unarmed black man who was walking home from purchasing an iced tea and listening to music when he was stopped by Aurora police officers. Apparently, someone who had seen McClain walking claimed the young man looked “sketchy” which prompted them to call the police. It wasn’t long after police arrived that they had placed McClain in a chokehold position.
During the time officers attempted to detain McClain, who repeatedly told officers he couldn’t breathe, he began throwing up and then went unconscious. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday by McClain’s parents, says that “as Elijah lay handcuffed, in his own vomit, on the ground, under the hundreds of pounds of combined weight of Aurora Police Department officers, Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics involuntarily injected him with a massive dose of ketamine” [Source: NPR]. The lawsuit adds that the dose of ketamine Elijah was injected with was “well beyond what a man [of] Elijah’s size should [have received].”
Elijah McClain later went into cardiac arrest while in police custody and died six days later after his family decided to take him off of life support.
In the recently filed lawsuit, the family named several Aurora police officers, including three who posed at McClain’s memorial site imitating a chokehold position, the City of Aurora, and certain medical personnel. On Tuesday, the family’s attorney also issued a statement saying the lawsuit “intended to demand justice for Elijah McClain, to hold accountable the Aurora officials, police officers, and paramedics responsible for his murder, and to force the City of Aurora to change its longstanding pattern of brutal and racist policing.”
Because the Aurora Police Department continues to be recognized for officer misconduct, Colorado’s attorney general has launched an investigation into the department to determine whether “Aurora police’s patterns and practices are unconstitutional.”
Despite the authority police officers have over civilians, they are still required to follow state/federal laws along with their department’s policies. When a Colorado police officer violates those laws/policies to abuse or violate the rights of a civilian, they should be held accountable for their actions. If a police officer in Colorado violated your rights, mistreated you, or injured you, the Colorado police brutality lawyers at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC are ready to fight for justice and defend your rights.
Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can be reached at:
333 W. Hampden Avenue, #420B
Englewood, CO 80110