enero 25, 2021

Lawsuit Against Aurora Police Reaches Federal Court

Lawsuit Against Aurora Police

PROTEST | Friends and family of Elijah McClain with attorney Mary Newman. (Photo / El Comercio de Colorado)


Newsroom El Comercio de Colorado

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The family of Elijah McClain filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Aurora and the officers and paramedics involved in his August 2019 death. According to the McClain family, a 106-page lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado. Aurora’s policies led to Aurora Police Department officers and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics to violate McClain’s constitutional rights, causing his death.

Attorney Mari Newman of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP, who represents McClain’s family, affirms that the officers involved in the McClain incident used excessive force. McClain was denied equal protection under the 14th Amendment, not provided with adequate medical care, deprived of due process, and was battered to the point of death. Newman is also asking for further relief, including economic losses.

The Facts 

On Aug. 24, police received a call about a person wearing a ski mask and waving his arms as he walked down the street. Officers said McClain refused to stop and fought back when they tried to take him into custody. He suffered cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and was declared brain dead. Police body camera footage shows McClain telling officers, “Let go of me. I am an introvert. Please respect the boundaries that I am speaking.”

According to a report by Dave Young, 17th Judicial District Attorney, officers said they put McClain on the ground when he tried to grab one of their holstered guns. One of the officers then put him in a specialized control hold, pressing against his carotid artery. McClain repeatedly tells officers, “I’m just different,” while sobbing. During his restraint, an Aurora Fire Rescue medic also gave him ketamine to try to sedate him. 


A forensic pathologist working for the Adams County Coroner’s office could not determine exactly what led to McClain’s death, but said physical exertion during the confrontation likely contributed. “If Aurora thinks this is appropriate policing, the community should be petrified. There was so much wrongdoing that we uncovered during the course of our investigation over the past almost-year, I cannot even catalog it all,” said Newman.


City of Aurora

Aurora Police Officers: Nathan Woodyard; Randy Roedema; Jason Rosenblatt; Matthew Green; Alicia Ward, Kyle Dittrich, Erica Marrero, James Root, Jordan Mullins-Orcutt and Darren Dunson.

Aurora Police sergeants : Alicia Ward and Rachel Nunez

Aurora Police Lieutenant : Peter Cichuniec

Paramedic: Jeremy Cooper

Physician: Dr. Eric Hill.

Another investigation

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, announced that he is also in charge of a civil rights investigation of the Aurora Police Department’s policies and practices. This is a new investigation different than the Attorney General office’s work on McClain’s death.

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