Last week Aurora, Col., police officers and medics who were sued over the death of Elijah McClain filed to dismiss the litigation. Now activists are saying the filing is unjust and that his family’s lawsuit should continue.
McClain, was a 23-year-old Black man who was stopped by officers who believed he was suspicious, placed in a chokehold and injected with ketamine in Aug. 2019. He died three days later. He was unarmed and body camera footage showed him being brutally wrestled to the ground and gasping for breath.
The officers involved in the unwarranted arrest were put on administrative leave but they were later reinstated when prosecutors decided not to file charges, according to CNN.
An investigation into the case was reopened this summer after Colorado Gov. Jared Polis appointed the state’s attorney general to take a new look.
McClain’s family filed a federal suit against Aurora. But several Aurora police officers and members of the Aurora Fire Rescue were also named as defendants. But their lawyers said in the motion to dismiss that while McClain’s death was tragic, “deliberate or discriminatory acts or omissions” were not the cause of his death, the Associated Press reported.
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Activists have sent out social media messages asking people to contact Aurora city attorney Daniel Brotzman in protest of the motion.
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Meanwhile, three officers who were fired by the Aurora Police Department after posing for a photo mocking McClain’s death, are expected to appear at a hearing in December to be reinstated. However, a Change.org petition was signed by more than 60,000 people who want the three of them, identified as Officers Kyle Dittrich, Erica Marrero, and Jaron Jones, to remain off the force.
“If these officers are reinstated it will let the world know that Aurora does not want justice to be served,” Aurora resident Darlene Jones, who started the petition, told the Denver Gazette. “Aurora Police Department will be letting down Elijah McClain's family, his friends and all those who stood up with love and support.”
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Photo Credit: Andy Cross/MediaNewsGroup/The Denver Post via Getty Images