New Elijah McClain Report Blames Police, Paramedics

Family says city of Aurora was trying to 'cover up' circumstances of Black man's death
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2021 8:07 AM CST
Elijah McClain's Family: New Report Shows a Coverup
In this June 27, 2020 file photo, demonstrators carry placards as they walk down Sable Boulevard during a rally and march over the death of Elijah McClain in Aurora, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Police officers and paramedics acted unjustifiably throughout their fatal encounter with Elijah McClain in Aurora, Colo. That's according to an independent report commissioned by the city council and released Monday, which the family says "substantiated what we knew and what the city of Aurora was trying to cover up." It finds the 23-year-old Black man was stopped without justification on Aug. 24, 2019; "continuously" subjected to "pain compliance techniques and restraints"; twice put in a carotid hold, meant to induce unconsciousness; and injected with too-high a dose of a tranquilizer after not moving for about a minute, per the New York Times and CNN. McClain went into cardiac arrest and died days later. He'd been walking home from a convenience store when someone called 911 to report a man who "looked sketchy." McClain's family says he was wearing a ski mask because he had anemia.

The first officer on the scene, Nathan Woodyard, put his hands on McClain within 10 seconds of exiting his patrol car, though there was no evidence of a crime, the report reads. McClain was wrestled to the ground after officers Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt arrived on scene, and Roedema claimed McClain had grabbed one of the officers' guns. (McClain's father, LaWayne Mosley, argues this was "clearly fabricated.") Fire Department paramedics then "accepted the officers' impression that Mr. McClain had excited delirium without corroborating that" and administered a dose of ketamine meant for a 190-pound person, per NBC News. McClain was 140 pounds. An investigation by Aurora Police "failed to ask basic, critical questions about the justification for the use of force," the report adds. Mosley says "the Aurora police and medics who murdered my son must be held accountable," per NBC. (Only Rosenblatt has been fired.)

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