Investigation Determines Aurora Police Had NO Legal Basis To Stop, Frisk, Choke, Or Administer Ketamine To 23 Year-Old Elijah McClain

Remember #ElijahMcClain? He was a young Black man, a brilliant violinist who liked to play his violin to animals in shelters. He died after police choked him and injected him w. ketamine while walking home.

An independent investigation ruled that police had no legal right to stop him.

Above: A mural of Elijah McClain, painted by Thomas “Detour” Evans, is seen on the back side of the Epic Brewing building in Denver on Thursday, June 25, 2020. Gov. Jared Polis said his office will examine what the state can do regarding the investigation into the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old killed by Aurora police 2019 in a case that has drawn national attention amid the movement to hold law enforcement responsible for their treatment of people of color.

The Denver Post reports: Aurora police officers did not have a legal basis to force Elijah McClain to stop walking, to frisk him or to use a chokehold on him, an independent investigation commissioned by the city found.

The initial investigation into the incident led by the department’s detectives in the Major Crimes Unit was also deeply flawed, the investigators found. The detectives failed to ask basic, critical questions of the officers involved in McClain’s death and instead “the questions frequently appeared designed to elicit specific exonerating ‘magic language’ found in court rulings,” the report states.

The report from the detectives was relied upon by the department’s force review board as well as the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, both of which cleared the officers of wrongdoing.

“In addition, the report of the Major Crime Unit stretched the record to exonerate the officers rather than present a neutral version of the facts,” the investigators wrote.

Elijah McClain 

Aurora city officials on Monday morning released the 157-page report on the death of McClain at the hands of city police and paramedics.

 

The city hired a panel of investigators to examine the officers’ and paramedics’ decision and make policy recommendations “to lessen the chance of another tragedy like this one from happening again,” the report states.

 

McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, “is relieved that the truth surrounding the death of her son is finally coming to light,” according to a statement issued by her attorneys.

 

“The Aurora officials who contributed to Elijah’s death must be immediately terminated,” according to the statement from the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm. “Ms. McClain continues to call for the criminal prosecution of those responsible for Elijah’s death. Elijah committed no crime on the day of his death, but those who are responsible for Elijah’s death certainly did.”

 

Read the full story here.