The family of Elijah McClain filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Colorado against the city of Aurora, several police officers, two paramedics, and a fire department medical director for the egregious violation of his civil rights on August 24, 2019, that resulted in his death.
The lawsuit states:
Elijah was listening to music, enjoying the short walk home from the corner store with some iced tea when Aurora police officers grabbed, tackled, and assaulted him.
In a span of eighteen minutes, Defendants subjected Elijah to a procession of needless and brutal force techniques and unnecessary, recklessly administered medication, the combined effects of which he could not survive.
Elijah McClain was removed from life support and died on August 30, 2019.
Adams County District Attorney Dave Young refused to charge the three officers involved in Elijah’s death. (Vote him out!)
Now that the case is under renewed public scrutiny, the officers have been moved to “non-enforcement” duties.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis appointed a special prosecutor to re-evaluate the case.
Public confidence in our law enforcement process is incredibly important now more than ever. A fair and objective process free from real or perceived bias for investigating officer-involved killings is critical.
Mari Newman, an attorney for Elijah McClain’s family said in a statement:
Elijah Javon McClain was 23 years old when he was killed by Aurora police officers and paramedics. Elijah’s killers extinguished the light of a beautiful young man who loved all beings.
His compassion for animals was so strong that he played his violin for cats at animal shelters, believing that music eased their loneliness, and he was so averse to causing harm to another living being that he would chase flies away rather than swatting them.
Yet when the Aurora Police Department officers encountered Elijah on the evening of August 24, 2019, they saw none of the kindness and gentleness for which he was known, but rather just another Black man in America.
In related news…
The Colorado Attorney General has announced a civil rights investigation into the Denver police department whose officers used a deadly chokehold on Elijah.