AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — The Aurora Police Department says the officers involved in Elijah McClain’s death have been removed from regular duty. Police confirmed the move nearly a year after McClain’s death. The case has gained international attention lately, with activists, politicians and celebrities speaking out and demanding justice.
The department confirmed Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt were moved on June 13 and Randy Roedema was moved on June 20. Officials did not provide any other details or explanation.
CBS4 first reported about the death following an altercation between McClain and the officers in Aurora in August of 2019. Someone called 911 to report McClain was “acting odd” and wearing a ski mask as he walked home. The caller told dispatch McClain was not armed, and had not committed a crime.
Investigators said McClain resisted arrest. At one point in the body camera video, an officer is heard saying, “He’s going for your gun.”
During the confrontation with police, McClain was placed in a carotid restraint, a technique that was recently banned by the Aurora Police Department. The Aurora Fire Department was also called to the scene and administered a dose of ketamine to subdue McClain.
McClain is heard in body camera video telling officers he wasn’t resisting. He also told them he was an introvert, a vegetarian and was unable to hurt a fly.
McClain can be heard saying, “I’m just different. That’s all.”
He can also be heard gasping and crying. He throws up — and apologizes. (WARNING: Some viewers may find the video below extremely upsetting.)
You can’t see much of what the officers were doing.
“A struggle ensued to the ground where three body worn cameras did become dislodged, Metz explained in November.
McClain went into cardiac arrest twice on the way to the hospital.
The autopsy report from the Adams County Coroner’s Office declared McClain’s manner and cause of death undetermined. In the report, the coroner stated intense physical exertion and a narrow coronary artery contributed to McClain’s death. The report also stated that the ketamine concentration was at a “therapeutic level.”
Last year, the district attorney’s office released a letter saying no charges would be filed against the three officers involved in the case.”
“Officers had a lawful reason to contact Mr. McClain,” officials stated. “The force applied during the altercation to include the carotid control hold and the force applied during the altercation was within policy and consistent with training.”
The officers involved returned to duty — until this month.