Elijah McClain death: Colorado police had no legal basis to restrain man, report finds

Picture: Kevin Mohatt/Reuters

Police officers in Aurora, Colorado, have no legal reason for halting, flirting with and using a chokehold for Elijah McClain. Elijah McClain is a 23 year-old black man who died in August 2019 after being confined by officers and paramedics in the suburb of Denver.

"Body wear camera audio, limited video and... interviews with the officers tell two different stories," the study released on Monday.

The comments made by the officers on the stage and in subsequent reported interviews indicate an aggressive and unrelenting war."

"The limited video and the audio of the cameras used to carry Mr.McClain, all of them bigger than he, cried in pain, apologised, explained himself and pleaded with the officers," the article said.

McClain, a keen artist and sportsman, stopped from a convenience store on 24 August 2019.

No wrongdoing was suspected against him.

A guy wearing a ski mask and waving his arms was called by police.

McClain listened to songs.

His family said he wore the mask, since he had a blood disorder which made him easily cold.

He refused to stop and struck back when he was faced by the police.

McClain showed the body-camera footage asking police, "Let me go.

I'm an introvert. I'm an introductory.

Please respect the limitations I am talking about."

Yet one of the officers put him in a specialized pause, rubbing into his carotid artery, cutting blood into the brain.

McClain said on one occasion, according to the article published on Monday: "Perdone me...

You're all great, you're all beautiful."

But for 15 minutes he was held, then he was given 500 mg of ketamine, a sedative.

He suffered heart arrest and on 27 August he was pronounced brain dead.

Three days later, he died.

The Monday study revealed that paramedics had not thoroughly tested McClain before injecting him with a dose based on a "grossly inaccurate" weight estimate.

The Aurora police department has proposed doing a variety of evaluations, including how officers are prepared to determine whether they have a legal basis to detain, arrest and stop people, and encouraged the city to investigate the events.

It said prosecutors in the department who had interviewed three officers who detained and detained McClain "were unable to ask critical questions" about any prosecutor's use of force to decide if their use of force was lawful.

The report was initiated by city councils last July in the wake of worldwide demonstrations against police brutality and racism caused by the assassination of George Floyd in Minneapolis, an African American man on his neck, knelt by a policeman for almost nine minutes.

The investigation was undertaken by Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of the Human Rights and Urban Relations Committee of Washington Lawyers.

Smith, a retired director of the U.S. Department of Justice, which investigates the police forces, headed the section during his prosecution of Michael Brown in 2014 by the police Ferguson, Missouri.

Additional hearings are under way, including one by a grand jury.

The US Department of Justice and the FBI said they have reviewed McClain's file for a future criminal investigation on civil rights after 2019 last year.

An autopsy did not decide how McClain died, which the local prosecutor said was one crucial explanation why he failed to indict any of the three officers.

A lawyer brought by the family of McClain argued he died in conjunction with the ketamine, which suppressed his breathing system, as a result of drastic spikes in lactic acid in his blood caused by excessive force over 18 minutes.

They say that, even though he was handcuffed, police continued 'torture' McClain because of his department's history of 'unconstitutional racial violence.'

One of three officers was shot for a text message on the investigation.

The remaining two are now with the police of Aurora.

Last year, the civil rights lawyer Mari Newman said the family of the Guardian McClain required "the prosecution of those involved in killing Elijah."

The General Counsel, Phil Weiser, said: "Elijah McClain should be alive today.

His life was sad and his passing.

The grief, resentment and indignation his family and many Coloradians felt is understandable and justified from his death."

McClain was respected by "everyone who met him." Newman said.

He was honoured extensively and happily.

Police spread a vigil of tributes from violin players using pepper spray.

Sheneen McClain told Sentinel Colorado that his son "wanted to change the world" in October 2019.

And it's nuts that he finished doing it anyway."