Elijah McClain – Officers Involved In His Death Have Been Reassigned For Their Protection Amidst Threats & Complaints
Update #2 (June 27th): The officers who were involved in the high-profile death of Elijah McClain are no longer on the streets. According to new reports, two of the three Aurora, Colorado police officers (Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt) were first reassigned on June 13th. A few days after, the third officer, Randy Roedema, was also reassigned.
A rep for the force said,
“This was done in an effort to protect those officers.”
While many in the nation calls for more information and investigation into their actions that led to Elijah McClain’s death, the reason they’re no longer on the streets is for their own safety. A spokeswoman for the police department, Faith Goodrich, said officers and city workers have received several threats.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis also said he would be taking a look at the case that is roughly a year old.
Original Story: A petition for justice for Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old man who died while in police custody last year, has gathered more than 3 million signatures.
Elijah McClain died in August 2019 during an encounter with Aurora, Colorado police.
While he was walking home from a convenience store, the Aurora Police Department responded to a 911 call of a “suspicious person” in a ski mask. They stopped Elijah McClain and say that he “resisted arrest” when he was approached by police. He was not armed and hadn’t committed any crime. The officers then allegedly tackled him and put him into a carotid hold, and reportedly called first responders, who injected him with ketamine “as a sedative to reduce his agitation.” Elijah McClain suffered from a heart attack on the way to the hospital, and he died days later after he was declared brain dead.
Similar to the death of George Floyd, McClain’s family feels that the law enforcement’s “use of excessive force” is what led to his death. McClain’s family says that he was anemic and preferred to wear a ski mask to keep his face warm while he was walking. The officers were cleared of any wrongdoing in the case, on the basis of “questionable body-camera footage and an allegedly inconclusive autopsy.”
Protests have broken out across the nation shining light on police brutality against black people, and Elijah McClain supporters are not giving up the fight to get justice for his wrongful death.
Aurora-area law enforcement agencies say that they went from a small number of calls about his case to a renewed flood of calls and emails, asking for his case to be further examined.
An autopsy report also raised questions as his cause of death was “undetermined”
“…they couldn’t determine whether McClain’s death was an accident, was due to natural causes, or is a homicide related to the police department’s use of a carotid hold”.
Following the death of Elijah McClain, the officers involved were placed on temporary leave, but they are back in the field with no charges against them.
A petition in his honor was created in hopes to bring justice for Elijah – the petition states that the signatures will help to:
“Demand these officers are taken off duty, and that a more in-depth investigation is held.”
As of Thursday morning (June 25th), the petition garnered more than 2.7 million signatures.
A GoFundMe was also created by Elijah McClain’s that had raised more than $1.3 million as of Thursday (June 25th).
Sending our condolences to the family of Elijah McClain.