‘Elijah McClain Is Not Here And He Should Be’ Says Attorney General As Five Are Charged In McClain’s Death
Justice for Elijah McClain could finally be on the way.
On Wednesday, Sept. 1, three officers and two paramedics were charged in connection with the 2019 death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain, who died after he was placed in a chokehold and shot with ketamine while being arrested.
At a press conference, Attorney General Phil Weiser reported that the grand-jury returned a 32-count indictment against the officers and paramedics who were involved. He said,
“Make no mistake, we recognize this case will be difficult to prosecute. These types of cases always are.”
“Our goal is to seek justice for Elijah McClain, for his family and friends, and for our state.”
Weiser was appointed in June 2020 to oversee the case by Gov. Jared Polis. Weiser also told reporters,
” We’re here today because Elijah McClain is not here and he should be.”
The three officers, Randy Roedema, Nathan Woodyard, and former Aurora police officer Jason Rosenblatt, and the two paramedics, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, all face one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide.
Roedema and Rosenblatt face one count of second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and caused serious bodily injury, as well as one count of a crime of violence related to the second-degree assault charge.
Additionally, the two paramedics each face one count of second-degree assault with the intent to cause bodily injury and caused bodily injury, one count of second-degree assault for recklessly causing serious bodily injury (referring to the administering of ketamine), and one count of second-degree assault for a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment intentionally causing stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical or mental impairment or injury to McClain by administering a drug (ketamine) without consent, and lastly two counts of crimes of violence for each of the assault charges.
While walking home from the grocery store on Aug. 24, 2019, Elijah was he was stopped by three Aurora police officers.
According to the report, the police received a 911 call because McClain was reportedly ‘acting wired’ by ‘waving his arms around.’ He was then accused of reaching for one of the officers weapons while they attempted to pat him down, leading to one of the officers placing him in a chokehold.
The body-cam footage from the involved officers reveal McClain struggling for air, repeating that he couldn’t breathe. In the footage he can be heard saying,
“I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff,” he said. “I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don’t even kill flies.”
McClain eventually passed out, to which he was injected with ketamine to be sedated. He died three days later.
Attorney and family representative, Qusair Mohamedbhai shared with Buzzfeed News,
“I believe that the truth will come out, and we are very confident with that the truth is that Elijah was murdered.”
Elijah’s mother’s, Ms. McClain said she was shocked and overwhelmed but also grateful to Phil Weiser, his team for all their hard work.
Black Lives Matter protest for Elijah McClain sparked across the states in the summer of 2020 along with protest for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Do you think Elijah will receive justice? Share your thoughts in the comments.