AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — After the death of Elijah McClain, who was put in a chokehold by Aurora police and injected with ketamine by paramedics, we wanted to know more about the use of the anesthetic to subdue suspects.
Dr. Kevin McVaney is the director of Denver’s Emergency Medical Response System and says Aurora has similar protocols when it comes to the use of ketamine by paramedics.
“Ketamine saves lives when used in these severe, severe, agitated people,” said Dr. McVaney.
Police reports state that McClain was given 500 milligrams of ketamine because paramedics estimated his weight at 100 kilograms, or 220 pounds. According to his autopsy report, McClain weighed 140 pounds.
“When you heard that ketamine had been administered, what went through your mind?” CBS News reporter Jamie Yuccas asked McClain’s father, LaWayne Mosley.
“I don’t understand it. I just don’t understand it,” Mosley said.
Police said McClain tried to reach for an officer’s gun during the August 2019 confrontation, but it isn’t shown on the police body camera.
They placed him in a chokehold and called paramedics who administered ketamine. McClain later went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at the hospital three days later.