Elijah McClain lost his life at the hands of police violence last August and now the nation is demanding justice.
On August 24, 2019, Elijah was walking home from a convenience store when Aurora police used excessive force to confront him, after receiving a phone call about a young man in a ski mask who looked suspicious. Elijah was not armed, committed no crime, and had anemia, which sometimes made his face feel cold.
Following the incident, the Sentinel Colorado stated:
“McClain told officers: ‘Let me go. I am an introvert, please respect my boundaries that I am speaking.’ While attempting to move McClain, officers said he attempted to grab one of their holstered guns. They then took him to the ground ‘as quickly as possible,’ per [District Attorney Dave] Young’s report. Throughout the interaction, officers tell McClain to ‘Stop tensing up, dude’ and ‘Chill out.’”
The site continued:
“Upon pinning McClain to the ground on a nearby lawn, Rosenblatt attempted to apply a ‘carotid control hold’ on McClain before eventually backing off. From a different vantage point, Woodyard then successfully placed McClain into the specialized control hold, pressing against McClain’s neck artery until he briefly fainted. McClain proceeds to repeatedly vomit and sob while handcuffed. At one point, an officer tells McClain: ‘If you keep messing around, I’m going to bring my dog out and he’s going to dog bite you, you understand me?’”
The officers involved — Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema — were placed on administrative leave after the incident, then restored to normal duty.
“Based on the investigation presented and the applicable Colorado law, there is no reasonable likelihood of success of proving any state crimes beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” Young said in his letter to Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz, according to the Sentinel Colorado. “Therefore, no state criminal charges will be filed as a result of this incident.”
“While being restrained by police, Aurora Fire Rescue Medic Jeremy Cooper administered McClain 500 milligrams of ketamine in an effort to sedate him,” the site added. Elijah was already unconscious at the time.
Now, people around the nation have renewed the fight for justice in Elijah’s case by way of a Change.org petition that has garnered millions of signatures. “Sign this petition to bring justice for Elijah. Demand these officers are taken off duty, and that a more in-depth investigation is held,” the latter part of the petition’s description reads.
Sign here and check out this bittersweet clip of Elijah below. We are praying for his loved ones at this time. May he rest in peace.