The battle isn’t over. It’s nearly just begun. Nearly two years following the death of an unarmed Black man, Elijah McClain, who was killed after being placed in a chokehold by Aurora police and injected with a sedative during an August 2019 arrest, a grand jury has decided to provide justice to the McClain family according to CBS News.
After Colorado attorney general Phil Weiser launched an independent investigation into McClain’s death in June 2020, the grand jury announced in January if they would determine whether the officers and paramedics involved should be charged. This came after a local district attorney declined to file charges in 2019, citing inconclusive evidence surrounding Elijah’s death. It seems like the applied pressure from Attorney General Weiser and the public, who took a huge interest in the case following the death of George Floyd, didn’t go in vain.
Attorney General Weiser announced today the grand jury issued a 32-count indictment against three Aurora police officers and two paramedics involved in his death. Officers Nathan Woodyard and Randy Roedema, former police officer Jason Rosenblatt and Aurora Fire and Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Lt. Peter Cichuniec. All five individuals have been charged with one count each of manslaughter and one count each of criminally negligent homicide. Two of the officers face additional assault and crime of violence counts. The two paramedics also face assault counts and recklessly causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon due to injecting the sedative ketamine.
The charges for the paramedics don’t stop there. They also face assault counts related to “intentionally causing stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical or mental impairment or injury” for administering ketamine to Elijah without consent for a purpose other than lawful medical treatment. Elijah’s father, LaWayne Mosely, released a statement regarding the charges through his attorney, Mari Newman. “Nothing will bring back my son, but I am thankful that his killers will finally be held accountable,” he stated.
Attorney General Weiser is also investigating the Aurora Police Department as well. We will keep you updated as more information about this case becomes available.
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