Elijah McClain Death: Three Officers, Two Paramedics Charged

By: Alyssa Wilson

The Colorado Attorney General has charged three police officers and two paramedics in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, according to the Associated Press 

RELATED: Parents of Elijah McClain Sue Colorado Police Over His Death 

McClain was stopped by police in Denver while he was on his way home from a store wearing a ski mask and headphones. The officers involved placed the 23-year-old in a chokehold and paramedics injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine. He suffered cardiac arrest and was later declared brain dead. 

RELATED: A Year After Elijah McClain’s Death, Activists Want Charges 

According to NBC News, State Attorney General Phil Weiser announced two officers with the Aurora Police Department, one former officer and two paramedics will each be charged with one count of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide and other charges in the 32-count indictment.  

“I said our investigation would be guided by a commitment to the facts by thorough and diligent work, and we would be worthy of public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system,” Weiser said. “These remain the guiding principles of this matter.”  

After McClain’s death, the Aurora police department banned carotid holds and federal authorities are reviewing whether a civil rights investigation is needed.  

The three officers involved were moved from enforcement duties. While two of them remain on the force, a third officer was fired after smiling in photos reenacting the chokehold before sending it to other officers.  

The department’s new police chief Vanessa Wilson has vowed to work to rebuild public trust between the residents after McClain’s death and other incidents with people of color.  

Mari Newman, a lawyer for McClain’s father, praised the charges, saying, “This indictment serves as a powerful reminder to all members of law enforcement that no one is above the law.”  

This is a developing story that will be updated.  

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here. 

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