The family of Elijah McClain, the 23-year-old African-American man who was killed by Aurora, Colorado police during an attempted arrest, has filed suit against the city.
According to PEOPLE, the federal lawsuit also names several Aurora police officers, a paramedic, and a medical director, accuses them of excessive force, failure to provide medical care and negligence. It also says the Aurora Police Department has “persistently” exhibited brutality against people of color.
McClain’s parents, Sheneen McClain and Lawayne Mosley are “seeking both accountability for the profound loss of a beautiful soul, and to ensure that Elijah did not die in vain by sending a resounding message that racism and brutality have no place in American law enforcement,” the lawsuit says.
McClain was reportedly walking home from a convenience store on August 24, 2019, when police responded to a call of a “suspicious man” with a ski mask. Officers detained McClain by placing him in a chokehold. Paramedics arrived on the scene and injected him with a large dosage of ketamine to sedate him.
Body camera footage shows McClain being wrestled to the ground, vomiting, crying and gasping “I can’t breathe,” as police detained him. Three days later, he was declared brain dead and an autopsy was found inconclusive.
The lawsuit is the latest controversy surrounding the Aurora Police Department. Last week, a viral video surfaced of officers holding a Black family at gunpoint when they mistook their vehicle for a stolen car.
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