AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Hundreds of people filled the streets of Aurora on Friday night, marching in protest related to the death of Elijah McClain. The protest happened just hours after the Aurora Police Department announced the fate of officers involved in a photo scandal related to McClain’s death.
The Aurora Police Department fired two of the three officers who posed for photos at the Elijah McClain memorial. The other officer resigned. One photo shows the officers reenacting the chokehold used on McClain, who later died.
Interim Police Chief Vanessa Wilson made the announcement on Friday afternoon. Shortly after, McClain’s family made a statement at the site where the 23-year-old was first approached by officers while walking home from the store last year.
Jaron Jones, in the center of the photos, resigned. His record will show that he was going to be terminated and he will not be allowed to be a police officer anywhere in Colorado.
Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich, also seen in the photos, were fired.
Jason Rosenblatt, one of the three Aurora police officers involved in the encounter with McClain was also fired Friday. The interim chief confirmed Rosenblatt had no part in the taking or distribution of the photos, but they were sent to him, and he replied with an inappropriate response.
PHOTO GALLERY: Elijah McClain Rally After Aurora Police Officers Fired
Protesters gathered at the site of a community memorial honoring McClain near Interstate 225. They started marching to the Aurora Police Department headquarters. The crowd was chanting, “Black lives matter, yes they do” and carrying “Justice for Elijah” signs.
Protesters surrounded the Aurora Police District 1 building and chanted, “Why are you wearing riot gear?” to officers who were standing guard outside.
The initial plan was to march to Aurora Police Headquarters at the Aurora Municipal Center but earlier in the day, police cordoned off the building and closed the lobby to the public.
—PREPARING FOR PROTESTS—
Aurora Police have installed 6ft fences at the entrance to the @AuroraPD HQ.@AuroraMayorMike Coffman told @CBSDenver he was concerned with how easily protestors breached the gates pictured beyond the new fence.
— Dillon Thomas (@DillonMThomas) July 2, 2020
Outside the Aurora Police District 1, protesters gathered and organizers said they would not be leaving until the other two officers involved in McClain’s death were fired.
The crowds thinned out a little but there were still hundreds of people outside the police building at 10 p.m.
Last Saturday, Aurora police used tear gas and pepper spray to break up what they described as “unruly crowds” after hours of peaceful protests.