AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The Denver Division of the FBI issued a statement Tuesday about photos of Aurora police officers taken at the Elijah McClain memorial. Sources tell CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass the photos show the officers reenacting the carotid restraint, which was used on McClain.

(credit: CBS)

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On Tuesday, FBI investigators said they are aware of the internal investigation into the photographs.

“We are gathering further information about that incident to determine whether a federal civil rights investigation is warranted,” officials stated.

Officials say the FBI began reviewing the facts of McClain’s death for a potential federal civil rights investigation in 2019. The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has been involved in ​the review.

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Elijah McClain

Elijah McClain (credit: Mari Newman)

“The matter is ongoing, and we are in the process of gathering additional evidence from the Aurora Police Department and other parties. To date, the City of Aurora has been cooperating,” investigators stated.

The Department of Justice typically does not discuss the existence or progress of ongoing investigations.

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“However, there are specific cases in which doing so is warranted if such information is in the best interest of the public and public safety. Recent attention on the death of Elijah McClain warrants such disclosure,” officials stated. They said they would not release any additional information until both of the reviews are complete.

McClain died after a confrontation with Aurora police in August of 2019. The community has demanded the three officers and two paramedics involved in the confrontation be fired.

The three officers were removed from patrol duty last week.

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