Elijah McClain's Parents Sue Colorado Over His Death In Police Custody, Want Justice For Loss Of 'Beautiful Soul'

Elijah McClain went into cardiac arrest after he was placed in a police chokehold and emergency responders injected him with ketamine.

Digital Series
Cops Convicted Of Abusing Their Power
oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View

Cops Convicted Of Abusing Their Power

Between 2005-2013, 7,518 cops were arrested and charged with one or more crimes.

The parents of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died after officers in suburban Denver stopped him on the street last year and put him in a chokehold, sued police and medical officials Tuesday.

With the federal civil rights lawsuit, 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.”

“We have filed this civil rights lawsuit to demand justice for Elijah McClain, to hold accountable the Aurora officials, police officers, and paramedics responsible for his murder, and to force the City of Aurora to change its longstanding pattern of brutal and racist policing,” the family said in a statement released by their attorney.

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.

Elijah McClain G

McClain suffered cardiac arrest, was later declared brain dead and taken off life support several days later.

The lawsuit claims one officer jammed his knee into McClain’s arm “with the sole purpose of inflicting pain by forcefully separating Elijah’s bicep and triceps muscles.”

It also 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.

The national reckoning over racism and police brutality following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis brought renewed criticism to Aurora police over McClain’s death.

Aurora police and the city’s fire department did not immediately return a call and an email seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Related Stories

Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content. 

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet