Colorado Judge Finds Sufficient Evidence Against Five Former Police Officers and Paramedics Involved in 2019 Death of Elijah McClain to Pursue Criminal Charges

Elijah McClain in an undated photo. (Family photo)

A Colorado judge has found that evidence against the five former Aurora police officers and paramedics in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain is strong enough to pursue criminal cases.

Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist and skilled violist, died following an encounter with police in August 2019 while he was walking home from a convenience store.

A passerby had called 911 to report McClain as “sketchy,” as he was wearing a ski mask on a warm night. McClain’s lawyer later attributed this to the fact that McClain was anemic and often cold.

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Aurora police officers responded to the scene, grabbing McClain and using a carotid control hold, which led to McClain saying, “I can’t breathe,” and struggling against the police, according to police body camera footage.

Paramedics arrived, giving McClain an “excessive” dose of ketamine, according to McCain’s lawyer, and McClain suffered from cardiac arrest shortly after in an ambulance. McClain was pronounced dead three days later.

The five defendants were indicted in McClain’s death in August 2021 on several charges, including manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, according to officials.

Lawyers representing the three officers and two paramedics asked Adams County District Court Judge Priscilla Loew to review the cases, arguing that there was not enough evidence to support the charges against their clients, according to court documents

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SOURCE: ABC News, Kyla Guilfoil

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