The death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain a Black man who died in police custody was the focus of a protest that shut down Highway 225 in Aurora Colorado Saturday. The demonstrations was organized by the Denver chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and consisted of a march, and rally, followed by a youth-led protest and vigil.
Elijah McClain was taken off life support on Aug. 30, 2019-six days after he was confronted by police in the Denver suburb of Aurora, as officers answered a call reporting a suspicious person in the area. McClain had been out running errands.
“I have a right to stop you because you’re being suspicious,” an officer is heard on a body camera recording telling McClain. Officers applied a choke hold during the confrontation to subdue him. When the paramedics came they administered a sedative to calm McClain down. McClain suffered a cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and was later declared brain dead. He was taken off life support less than a week later. The officers involved were never prosecuted and returned to their jobs.
Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement on Wednesday, I am hearing from many Coloradans who have expressed concerns with the investigation of Elijah McClain’s death, as a result, he said he has asked legal counsel “what the state can do and we are assessing next steps.” The following day he ordered the investigation to be reopened.
Crowd is 💯 peaceful and Aurora PD just rushed out of buildings in riot gear towards the crowd for no reason. Totally unprovoked – everything calm until the cops showed up per usual. #ElijahMclain #denver #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/NZsNk2Jh0N
— Joe Szuszwalak (@JoeSzusz) June 27, 2020