AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – CentrePoint Plaza in Aurora will close Saturday due to planned demonstrations to demand justice for Elijah McClain. The Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners voted Friday night to close the plaza including the Voter Service and Polling Center.
“We encourage voters to visit another VSPC if they want to vote in person on Saturday, or drop off their ballot at any of our 24-hour drop boxes,” said County Clerk and Recorder Joan Lopez.
Officials note the nearest drop box is at the Arapahoe County Motor Vehicle offices on Chambers Road. In-person voting can be done between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on Colfax Avenue.
McClain died after a police confrontation in August of 2019. He was on his way home when someone called 911 for a suspicious person in the area.
The march and rally is schedule to start at 1 p.m. at Aurora Police headquarters in the plaza. Organizers, the Party for Socialism and Liberation-Denver, say they plan to demand all three officers involved and two paramedics be fired; the case be reopened and criminal charges be filed against the officers and paramedics; restitution for the McClain family.
The Aurora Police Department’s interim police chief, Vanessa Wilson, released a statement regarding the demonstration.
“We not only recognize a person’s right to freedom of speech and expression; we support and protect their right to do so in a peaceful manner. A peaceful demonstration, like the one planned here today, allows their very important voices to be heard. It promotes meaningful conversations and brings about purposeful change. Our community is reeling from the tragic loss of Elijah McClain who was not only a beloved son, brother and friend but also a valued member of our community. Today the men and women of the Aurora Police Department are here merely to ensure peace is maintained. Unfortunately, we know outsiders may be in attendance to hijack the intended message today by being destructive and wreaking havoc upon a community they do not live nor work in. I have heard from our community, and I am listening today. Their voices and concerns are not falling on deaf ears. I am devoted to meaningful reform, just as every good police officer you see out here today is. I want to again encourage everyone to remain peaceful. When you come across one of our police officers today consider saying hello. Tthey not only love serving our community, many live here and want to see many of the same positive changes. Together we can make it happen.”
On Friday, the police department said the officers involved in case have been removed from regular duty. Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt were moved on June 13 and Randy Roedema was moved a week later on June 20, however officials did not provide any other details or explanation.
The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office told CBS4 they have received thousands of phone calls about the case, and more than 2,000 emails in just a matter of days.
McClain’s family says he would play his violin for shelter animals before his death.
Later Saturday night, a group of violinists will gather to play their music for others calling for justice for Elijah McClain. They plan to play at 8:30 p.m. at Aurora City Center Park.