Elijah McClain Killed by Police After Wearing Ski Mask Due to His Health Condition
Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black massage therapist, went home from a gas station on August 24, 2019. The officers had received an emergency call that someone who was "suspicious" and wearing a ski mask waved their arms to the music. When the police arrived and saw McClain, they finally put McClain in a 15-minute choke hold. McClain died in the hospital three days later.
According to Chaos + Comrades, McClain wore a ski mask because he was anemic and protected from the cold. Black people, especially men, have spoken about the dangers of wearing a mask as black because it makes them “suspicious” and increases the likelihood of a fatal confrontation with the police.
"The first assumption was not that they are people who protect themselves and others around them from the virus. It was the assumption that they stole or were bad-willed," said Vickie Mays, a professor of health policy and management at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health. said STAT. "There's a quick verdict on what black men are up to."
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Please donate, call, email, sign petitions and spread the word !! # JusticeForElijahMcClain
4:02 a.m. - June 24, 2020
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Police killed more than 1,000 people in the U.S. in 2019, 23% of whom were black. Black people with health conditions are particularly at risk. According to a study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, up to 50% of those killed by the police have a disability or a mental illness. In addition to McClain, the few police murders of black people with health problems or disabilities include:
Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas prison after being arrested for a lane change violation, had epilepsy and depression
Eric Garner, who was killed by New York police officers who strangled him, had asthma, diabetes, and heart disease
Freddie Gray of Baltimore, who had a developmental disorder, died after a spinal injury caused by a "hard drive" in a police car
Tanisha Anderson, who lived in Ohio, had a mental crisis when the police held her face in front of her house, which killed her
George Floyd, who was murdered by the police in Minneapolis, had heart disease (and was tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of his death).
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The three officers from Aurora, Colorado who were involved in McClain's murder - Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema - reported that McClain opposed the "officer contact" and was at the time fighting McClain.
According to Mari Newman, a lawyer in the McClain family, officials used aggressive violence almost immediately and hit McClain against a wall. McClain asked the officers, "Please respect my personal area," but he was torn to the ground. He was choked for 15 minutes, even though he was already held back, handcuffed and vomited.
"What did you do in those fifteen minutes? You tortured him, ”said Newman. "And I don't use the word" torture "lightly. I wouldn't say torture if I don't mean it, and I mean it."
When paramedics arrived, they gave McClain ketamine - a sedative - although he was already unresponsive. McClain had a heart attack on the way to the hospital, where he was later in a coma before being deprived of life three days later. Newman said McClain received a high dose of ketamine, which may have contributed to his death.
The officers' body cameras were allegedly displaced during the fight, so much of the video footage of their actions against McClain is lost. The audio from the cameras, which has not been published publicly, is clearly audible. McClain is heard saying "I cannot breathe" while an officer tells his colleague to move his camera.
All three officers involved in McClain's murder were released by the police in February with no effect. The officers are still working and were transferred to the Denver Police Department after McClain's case regained national attention. The coroner has never released an official cause of death in McClain's murder, and his family now plans to file a civil rights suit.
McClain's case has also sparked renewed demands for justice. McClain's sister Naomi published a TikTok about her brother's death and raised the awareness of the case after renewed protests against Black Lives Matter triggered by George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis.
This is Elijah McClain's sister Naomi. She said the cops that killed her brother were transferred to Denver PD. The same cops were patrolling their apartment and were in the shop where their sister works. #ElijahMcClain #JusticeForElijahMcClain
1:20 - June 23, 2020Los Angeles, CA.
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A Change.org petition for #JusticeforElijahMcClain has collected more than 2 million signatures and demands that the police officers involved in his murder be removed from the group. The petition also calls for a new, in-depth investigation into McClain's death.
Lawyers also honored McClain's life, which Newman said was "a kind, loving person who made friends wherever he went."
"He was a person who was in a supermarket right before this whole event and made friends with strangers," added Newman. "You see the video of the supermarket surveillance joking and making friends because that's what he did and he was."
Hello Governor @jaredpolis. Thank you for following me as a gay player, Coloradan. Please get it right by murdering #ElijahMcClain so I don't bully you on the internet over the things we don't have in common for the rest of your life. #JusticeForElijahMcClain
tus / 1275527586085470210
that was elijah mcclain. Instead of sharing pictures / videos of his suffering, share pictures and videos that show what he was like in life
Justice for #ElijahMcClain
7:51 a.m. - June 24, 2020
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