AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – On Tuesday, the city of Aurora announced they’re moving forward with an independent investigation into the 2019 death of Elijah McClain.
“That report will be made public and so everybody will be able to see it. If there’s something in there that the city or the public believe should go back to the district attorney for further review then that will happen,” said Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly.
Last August, after a confrontation with police, McClain, 23, died. Police tackled him, put him in a chokehold and he was given ketamine, a sedative, following a report of a suspicious person in the area. McClain was walking with a mask on and groceries in his hand.
City Manager Jim Twombly says the city is now conducting an audit of body cameras.
Attorney Eric Daigle, a former police officer who specializes in use of force cases, will be leading the review.
“His scope of work includes reviewing everything in relation to the Elijah McClain case from the call that came in, the officers response on scene, body cam footage, city policies, and city police policies regarding use of force,” said Twombly.
Last year the district attorney’s office released a letter saying no charges would be filed against the three officers involved in the case, who have since returned to duty. CBS4’s Dominic Garcia asked InterIm Police Chief Vanessa Wilson for her thoughts on the independent investigation.
“I will be open to whatever comes back from the independent investigation. But I think it would be inappropriate to comment given that District Attorney Dave Young has declined charges in this case,” said Wilson.
In a statement to CBS4 the McClain family attorney, Mari Newman, said:
“An independent investigation is long overdue. It should not take a citizen petition and public pressure for there to be an independent investigation when members of law enforcement torture and kill an innocent man. The City of Aurora and the District Attorney should not have to be told to do their jobs – they are accountable to the people.”
An interim report from the independent investigation is expected to be completed mid-July.