One Colorado police officer was convicted and another was acquitted in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain.
The Death of Elijah McClain
On August 24, 2019, the 23-year-old was walking home from a convenience store when someone called 911 about a suspicious person wearing a ski mask.
When Elijah attempted to avoid contact and walk away from the cops, saying, “Let go of me. I am an introvert. Please respect the boundaries that I am speaking.”
The police threw him to the ground and placed him in a carotid hold, a form of chokehold that cuts off blood flow through the carotid arteries to the brain.
Elijah was on the ground for 15 minutes.
Like so many other black men who have been brutalized by police, Elijah cried out, “I can’t breathe.”
When paramedics arrived, they injected Elijah with 500mg of ketamine to sedate him. Elijah had a terrible reaction and vomited several times before suffering two cardiac arrests in route to the hospital.
Elijah McClain was declared brain dead and remained on life support for six days before he passed away on August 30.
Grand Jury Indictments
In September 2021, a Colorado grand jury indicted three police officers and two paramedics involved in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain.
Aurora Police officers Randy Roedema and Nathan Woodyard, former officer Jason Rosenblatt, and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec were each indicted on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide as part of a 32-count indictment.
Conviction & Acquittal
On Thursday, October 12, 2023, Randy Roedema was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault in Elijah’s death.
His sentencing is set for January 5, 2024, and he is only facing a maximum of six years in prison for the homicide charge, but could simply end up with probation.
Former officer Jason Rosenblatt was found not guilty on all counts.
The trial for Aurora officer Nathan Woodyard, who placed Elijah McClain in a chokehold, is slated to begin on Friday, October 13.
Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, the paramedics who administered the deadly dose of ketamine, will stand trial in November.
Elijah’s Mother Reacts To Verdict
As you can imagine, Elijah McClain’s mother, Sheneen, was extremely disappointed with the verdicts.
She exited the courtroom with her fist in the air and said:
This is the divided states of America, and that’s what happens. And that’s it. I’m out. I’m pissed.
A statement from Sheneen was also posted on the Justice for Elijah McClain Instagram page.
Elijah told me not to worry. Because this is not the final destination. This is just human judgment. It helped that he told me not to worry because they have an eternal judgment that they have yet to see.
And no matter how they try to clean their slate, they still have my son’s blood on their hands.
See the original post below.
Watch a news report below.
Please keep Elijah McClain’s family covered in prayer as they continue their fight for justice.