Back before the nation had been jolted awake to the realities of police abuse, a 23-year-old man named Elijah McClain was walking home from the convenience store after purchasing a bottle of tea for his cousin in Colorado when he was stopped by Aurora police.
It was 10:30 p.m. on August 24, 2019 and McClain was dancing as he walked, flailing his arms as he moved to the beat from his earphones. The massage therapist was also wearing a ski mask because he was anemic and wanted to keep his face warm.
But this made the 140-pound man suspicious so somebody called 911, essentially signing his death warrant.
“Stop right there,” an Aurora police officer said as he approached him on the sidewalk.
“I have the right to go where I’m going,” McClain replied.
“I have the right to stop you stop you because you’re being suspicious,” the cop responded, placing his hands on McClain along with the two other cops who also began grabbing on to him.
McClain tensed up which is a natural reaction to getting manhandled by strange men in uniforms with no respect for boundaries.
“Relax or I’m going to have to change this situation,” the cop warned him.
“You guys started to arrest me and I was stopping my music to listen, now let go of me,” McClain said.
The cops ended up tackling him and placing him in a chokehold for 15 minutes where he was recorded saying, “I can’t breathe.” Paramedics arrived and injected him with ketamine to sedate him. On the way to the hospital, he suffered a heart attack and went into a coma. He was pronounced dead three days later.
An internal affairs investigation determined the cops acted “within policy and consistent with training.” And the district attorney cleared the cops of any wrongdoing.
The case was closed and the cops were allowed to continue with their brutish ways, protected by a legal mafia that operates on our tax dollars on the same principle the mob used to extort “protection money” from local business owners. It’s nothing but a racket.
You either comply or you die with low-intellect bullies who are only trained to escalate every interaction to the point of death, if necessary. And it really does not matter how minor the transgression or if it was even a transgression to begin with.
In this case, walking down the street with a mask should not have been enough reasonable suspicion that warranted a stop, according to a Colorado attorney who was speaking generally about mask wearing in public two years before the McClain death.
According to attorney Tristan Kenyon Schultz:
Generally speaking there is nothing illegal about wearing a mask. Situations can give rise to a potential police stop (say wearing a mask and waiting outside of a bank), but if there is no evidence of a crime, only a stop will occur. Also be aware that merchants or any other person who owns private property can prevent access to anyone (including a person wearing a mask). In short, a mask is not illegal, but conduct can give rise to a police stop or arrest.
There was no open bank and the only open business was a convenience store where McClain has just purchased bottled ice tea. All he was doing was walking down the street minding his own business so he should have been left alone. Let’s not forget cops have long considered people with cameras “suspicious,” which they believe gives them the right to stop people but the courts have determined it is unconstitutional.
Now an online petition seeking justice for McClain with more than 2.6 million signatures at this time has brought the case back into the spotlight now that public opinion has changed about police in this country. And Colorado Governor Jared Polis is now saying he is looking into what can be done.
The Aurora police report was filled with the usual bullshit they use to justify their thuggish actions, claiming that McClain had “crazy strength,” which made it impossible for three officers to handle without choking him for 15 minutes. Almost everybody they kill has “superhuman strength” which is another common phrase used by cops nationwide.
They also claimed he tried to take their gun which made them fear for their lives. But all three officers, Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema, claimed their body cameras fell off during the struggle which is why we never see McClain trying to take their gun.
According to the Denver Post:
The three officers claimed that McClain was super strong and they assumed that he was on drugs or a stimulant. “Whatever he is on, he has crazy strength,” one officer said.
The autopsy found only ketamine and marijuana in his system.
McInerny said fire rescue personnel decided on the ketamine injection because McClain had exhibited signs of “excited delirium.” The autopsy found the ketamine injection, 500 milligrams, to be a “therapeutic level.”
All three officers, who had been place on administrative leave during the investigation, have returned to work, Metz said.
(McClain family attorney Mari) Newman, however, said it’s “abundantly clear” that the officers “used unconstitutional excessive force.”
The officers “shed their body cameras, freeing themselves to create a false narrative that this pacifist vegetarian (McClain) reached for a gun,” Newman said.
Watch the body camera video below which includes the 911 call, along with screenshots of McClain’s final words along with photos of the cops.