DENVER, Co. – Almost two years to the day, two Aurora police officers, one former Aurora police officer, and two Aurora Fire and Rescue paramedics have been charged for their alleged conduct on the night of August 24, 2019.
Attorney General Phil Weiser announced a 32-count indictment in the death of Elijah McClain on Wednesday.
The indictment is against Aurora police officers Nathan Woodyard and Randy Roedema, former Aurora police officer Jason Rosenblatt, and Aurora Fire and Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec.
Each of the five defendants face one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide.
AG Weiser said officers Rodema and Rosenblatt also face a count of second-degree assault with the intent to cause bodily injury.
The death of Elijah McClain
McClain was stopped by three White officers on Aug. 24, 2019, while they responded to a call about a suspicious person wearing a ski mask and waving his arms. Police put him in a chokehold, and paramedics gave him 500 milligrams of ketamine to calm him down.
McClain suffered cardiac arrest, was later declared brain dead and taken off life support several days later.
Earlier this year the family of McClain sued police and medical officials in the death of Elijah. The McClain family said they were seeking both accountability for the loss of a “beautiful soul” and to send a message that “racism and brutality have no place in American law enforcement”.
The lawsuit says two of the officers reported that all three of them simultaneously placed their body weight on McClain after a chokehold. One officer estimated that the collective weight on McClain, who weighed 140 pounds, to be over 700 pounds.
Holding officers, paramedics accountable
McClain’s father told KDVR Tuesday that “nothing will bring back my son, but I am thankful that his killers will finally be held accountable”.
“For far too long, racist and brutal police across this country have acted as though the law does not apply to them. This indictment serves as a powerful reminder to all members of law enforcement that no one is above the law,” said the family’s attorney Mari Newman.