Cops involved in Elijah McClain’s police-custody death put on modified duty
The three Colorado police officers who were involved in the stop of Elijah McClain, who died after the arrest last year, have been put on non-enforcement duty, according to a report.
Aurora Police Officers Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema were put on duties that don’t require them to interact with the public or take any law enforcement action, according to a Fox report.
The men were moved to their new assignments variously over the last two weeks partially because of safety concerns after the department has received threats, an Aurora PD spokesperson said, according to the outlet.
After McClain’s death last August, the men were put on a week’s administrative leave over the incident but were not criminally charged.
Now, in the wake of the protests over the Minnesota cop-brutality death of George Floyd questions about McClain’s Aug. 24, 2019, death have gotten attention again.
On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis appointed Attorney General Phil Weiser to look into McClain’s death and possibly prosecute those involved following a flood of social media posts over McClain’s death and a petition, with over 3 million signatures, calling for an investigation into the matter.
McClain, 23, had been walking home in Aurora after buying iced tea at a corner store for his cousin, his sister has said, when he was stopped by police — who received a call about a suspicious person in a ski mask waving his hands as he walked.
Body-camera footage of the incident showed a cop walk up to McClain and say, “Stop right there. Stop. Stop. … I have a right to stop you because you’re being suspicious.”
Police have said he kept walking and was resisting arrest when they tried to cuff him. Video shows McClain saying, “You guys started to arrest me, and I was stopping my music to listen.”
“Let go of me. I am an introvert. Please respect the boundaries that I am speaking,” he pleaded with them.
At one point, McClain can be seen being held down, vomiting and crying, “I can’t breathe,” USA Today reported.
“If you keep messing around, I’m going to bring my dog out and he’s going to dog bite you,” one of the cops says to him during the altercation, according to the outlet.
One of the officers then put McClain in a chokehold causing him to briefly go unconscious before paramedics arrived on scene and injected him with a ketamine sedative to calm him down. McClain went into cardiac arrest as he was being brought to the hospital.
McClain — a massage therapist who had plans to go to college — was taken off of life support six days later after he was declared brain dead.
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