Colorado City Decides Case over Elijah McClain's Death | MCU Times

Colorado City Decides Case over Elijah McClain’s Death

By Keith Coffman | Reuters

DENVER – The city of Aurora, Colo., Has agreed to pay $ 15 million to settle the civil rights case brought by the family of Elijah McClain, a black man who died in 2019 after being subdued by police and injected by paramedics with a sedative , both sides said Friday.

The agreement, which marks the largest civil rights settlement in the state’s history, came about nine weeks after the Colorado Attorney General concluded an investigation that found Aurora’s police routinely violated state and federal law by engaging in racially biased police work and excessive use of force. .

The inquiry led to a consent decree with the city’s police department in Aurora, a suburb of Denver with about 369,000 residents that allows an independent monitor to review the department’s training, policies and practices.

On September 1, three police officers and two paramedics involved in McClain’s death were charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Those cases are pending.

McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, confirmed the settlement amount in a written statement issued through her attorney after the deal was announced by the city.

“No amount will ever bring Elijah back to his mother,” the statement said. “Miss McClain would return every cent for just one more day with her son.”

Elijah McClain, 23, was walking home from a grocery store in Aurora on August 24, 2019, when he was confronted by police responding to reports that he had been seen behaving suspiciously even though he was not suspected of a crime.

Police officers placed McClain in a carotid artery and he was later injected by paramedics with ketamine, a powerful sedative. He had a cardiac arrest and died days later in a hospital.

“I was just going home”

In a video recording of the meeting from a police-borne body camera, one could hear a sobbing McClain begging the officers, who held him back: “I can not breathe, please stop. I was just going home.”

The episode initially got some attention outside of Colorado. But the case drew renewed attention and public anger as protesters against racial injustice and police brutality took to the streets across the United States in the summer of 2020 after George Floyd, a black man accused of trying to pass a false bill, died below the knee of a white man. Minneapolis police officer.

The officer in that case, Derek Chauvin, was later convicted of murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Colorado prosecutors first refused to file criminal charges in McClain’s case, citing an autopsy that listed the cause of death as unresolved. But Governor Jared Polis ordered the state’s attorney general to open a new investigation last year, leading to 32s charges against police and paramedics in September.

The local police association at the time called the charges a “hysterical overreaction” and noted that a previous investigation cleared officers of misdemeanors.

In a written statement Friday, McClain’s father, LaWayne Mosley, said he hoped the big payout “sends a message to police everywhere that there are consequences to their actions.”

“I hope Elijah’s legacy is that the police will think twice before killing another innocent person,” he said.

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