On August 24, 2019, 23 year old Elijah McClain was killed by the police in Aurora, Colorado, the New York Times reports. McClain was walking home from the convenience store when he was stopped by three officers after a 911 call believed McClain to be a “suspicious” person. The officers then put McClain into a carotid hold and eventually [McClain] briefly lost consciousness and vomited while being detained, according to CNN. The paramedics later sedated McClain with ketamine and he later went into cardiac arrest. The officers involved: Officers Woodyard, Rosenblatt, and Roedema, have been put on administrative leave.
Currently there are thousands of protesters in Aurora, Colorado who demand justice for the death of Elijah McClain. In City Center Park, many violinists performed in order to pay respects for McClain, who played the violin for kittens at the animal shelter. Even though the protests were peaceful, the police were dressed in riot gear and used pepper spray to stop the gathering, states The Guardian. On Saturday, June 27th, protesters shut down Highway 225 in Colorado to protest.
The case has especially gotten attention during the Black Lives Matter movement. Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced his administration would reevaluate the case after McClain’s family had made calls for almost a year as well as setting up petitions for millions of people to sign and media attention. Mari Newman, the McClain’s family attorney states that the family demanded an investigation last year at the municipal center, and the issue still hasn’t been addressed.