The city of Aurora’s settlement in the civil rights suit brought by McClain’s parents is reportedly the highest in Colorado history.
The family of Elijah McClain has settled a civil rights lawsuit with the city of Aurora, Colorado, for $15 million, reportedly the highest police settlement in the history of the state.
According to ABC News, the settlement will be divided between McClain’s parents, who lost their 23-year-old son after police and first responders manhandled him and injected him with a dose of ketamine, causing a heart attack and his subsequent death in 2019.
Elijah McClain, 23, died after police and first responders in Aurora, Colorado, manhandled him and injected him with a dose of ketamine, causing his heart attack and subsequent death in August 2019. (Photo: The McClain family)
McClain was stopped by Aurora police in the Denver suburb on Aug. 24, 2021, because someone had reported someone “sketchy” walking through the neighborhood. The young man, who was anemic, was wearing a ski mask. Despite his heart-wrenching pleas that he was just walking home from a convenience store, McClain was wrestled to the ground, and an ambulance was called, resulting in the fatal outcome.
While the financial battle for justice is over, there is still the matter of criminal charges.
Three police officers and two paramedics were indicted in September of this year.
Aurora Police officers Nathan Woodyard and Randy Roedema, former officer Jason Rosenblatt, and paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec have all been charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and other crimes.
As previously reported, Sheneen McClain, Elijah’s mother, said that the charges were “a step toward justice.”
“I’m still praying for them to be in prisons,” she told ABC News. “My son’s murderers and their accomplices all need to be in prison for what they did to him. They had no right to stop him. They had no right to handcuff him, brutalize and terrorize him or inject him with ketamine.”
When the settlement agreement was reached last month, Ryan Luby, Aurora’s deputy director of communications and marketing, told ABC News the city reached it “in principle over the summer to resolve the lawsuit filed after his tragic death in August 2019.”
Per Denver7, McClain’s father, LaWayne Mosley, said last month that even though nothing will bring back his son, who he loved dearly, “he is hopeful that this settlement with Aurora, and the criminal charges against the officers and medics who killed Elijah, will allow his family and the community to begin to heal.”
An investigation by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, which concluded in September, found that the Aurora Police Department has long had a culture that allows its officers to treat people of color — especially Black people — differently than whites.
Per a previous Associated Press report, Weiser found the agency also has a pattern of using unlawful excessive force, frequently escalates encounters with civilians, and fails to properly document police interactions with residents.
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