'Reprehensible': Cops Who Staged Pic Get Fired

The officers were posing in a chokehold at the Elijah McClain Memorial
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2020 9:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Three Colorado cops got fired Friday over photos of police posing at the memorial site of Elijah McClain—an unarmed black man who died after being stopped by officers in a Denver suburb, CBS Denver reports. One of the photos shows officers reenacting a chokehold like the one placed on McClain. "To even think about doing such a thing, it's beyond comprehension, and it’s reprehensible," said Interim Police Chief Vanessa Wilson. "It shows a lack of morals values and integrity." Two officers in the pics, Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich, got fired, while a third, Jaron Jones, resigned before being fired. A fourth officer, Jason Rosenblatt—who was involved in stopping McClain last August—got fired after being sent the photos and responding, "Haha," Wilson said.

"He is being fired for his lack and utter ability to do the right thing here," she added. CNN reports that thousands of protesters hit the streets of Aurora, Colorado, despite the firings, chanting "Say his name, Elijah McClain," and "Brick by brick, wall by wall, this racist system has got to go." Meanwhile, the Aurora Police Association called the investigation that led to the firings "a rush to judgment," saying the probe ended in nine days when such internal-affairs cases usually require months, per the AP. But Terrence Roberts, a community organizer and McClain family friend, sees another problem: "Rosenblatt got fired not for killing Elijah, not for murdering Elijah, but for making fun of Elijah," he said. "That is the culture that we're fighting." (Read more police stories.)

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