(Los Angeles) Three police officers and two nurses are charged in Colorado with the death of Elijah McClain, a young black man who died in 2019 after breaking his neck during arrest and then being forcibly injected with a strong sedative, the company said Wednesday with the public prosecutor’s office.
Posted on Sep 1, 2021 at 2:51 pm
A popular jury has withheld various charges, including manslaughter, after examining the conclusions of a special inquiry opened at the request of the governor of this western state into the scandal caused by the young man’s death.
“Each of the five defendants is confronted with manslaughter and negligent homicide,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said at a news conference.
Four of the accused, including the two nurses, are also being prosecuted for giving Elijah McClain, without his consent, ketamine, a powerful sedative that is particularly used in anesthesia.
The victim suffered cardiac arrest while being transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced brain dead shortly afterwards.
The then 23-year-old young man’s death occurred in Aurora in August 2019, several months before George Floyd died below the knee of a white cop, sparking a nationwide wave of protests against police brutality and racial discrimination.
The case was initially dismissed, but Governor Jared Polis moved to reopen the investigation in June 2020 after speaking with the deceased’s family. A petition to reopen the investigation had collected more than three million signatures.
The police had been called by someone who mentioned a “suspicious” black man wearing a ski mask and “acting strangely” on a street in Aurora. A police officer alleged that Elijah McClain, who was not carrying a weapon, tried to grab his weapon during the operation.
According to the victim’s family, he simply went out to have a drink and often wore this ski mask to avoid catching a cold.