AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– At least one officer involved in photos described as “mimicking” Elijah McClain’s arrest resigned from the Aurora Police Department. Officer Jaron Jones submitted his resignation to the chief.
In response to inquiries by the press, Jaron Jones, hired October 31, 2016, tendered his resignation. Jones was one of the employees involved and depicted in the photograph investigation related to #ElijahMcClain. We will continue to update w/developments as we proceed.
— Aurora Police Dept 🇺🇸 (@AuroraPD) July 2, 2020
Two other officers named in the photo investigation, which were taken near the memorial for McClain, have until Friday morning to resign, accept the interim chief’s discipline or fight for their jobs. CBS4’s Brian Maass learned one female and one male officer were also seen in the photos with Jones.
— Brian Maass (@Briancbs4) July 2, 2020
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said the pictures were concerning, “It really reopens wounds in our community.”
No one outside of the Aurora Police Department, including Coffman, have seen the photos as of the publishing of this story. Coffman said he was told what was in the pictures.
“Several officers trying to reenact the incident,” Coffman said.
The incident Coffman was referring to was the arrest of 23-year-old McClain in August 2019.
McClain was walking home from a store where he purchased tea for his brother. A passerby called 911 and reported McClain was acting odd. McClain was not armed, and had not committed a crime.
Three officers responded to the call, and located McClain walking northbound near Interstate 225, he was wearing a mask.
McClain didn’t stop when officers told him to, later telling them he had his music on and couldn’t hear them. One officer grabs McClain, who asks the officer to respect his boundaries.
The officers claim McClain resisted arrest, and that he attempted to take one of their guns. Body camera footage does not capture evidence of McClain reaching for their guns.
McClain was placed in a chokehold, and tackled to the ground. Eventually he was given ketamine, a sedative, by an Aurora Fire Department paramedic.
Jones, and at least one other officer seen in the photos taken in October 2019, are said to be photographed in front of the memorial created for McClain, reenacting the chokehold used.
“The photos were of enough concern that these officers are facing disciplinary actions,” Coffman said.
The two other officers involved have until Friday afternoon to either accept the chief’s discipline, or contest it. If the chief upholds her decision, the officers then have 10 days to fight for their jobs with the city.
A spokesperson for Aurora police told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the department is “willing and eager” to release the questionable photos. The names of all officers involved are also expected to be released.
Coffman said the City of Aurora is reconsidering their use of ketamine.
“The Elijah McClain case, though new to the country and new internationally, has really been the driving force and catalyst for change in our community,” Coffman said.
Coffman said only time would tell what the actions of Jones, and the other two officers, would do to the community’s already lacking trust in the police force.
“I’m not sure what impact this will have other than reopening the wound,” Coffman said.
The three officers involved in the incident surrounding McClain’s death were removed from patrol duty in June.