AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Three of the Aurora police officers involved in the now-infamous photos taken near a memorial for Elijah McClain will appeal their terminations, the police department confirms. Those officers are Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich, who appear in the photo, and Jason Rosenblatt, who received the photo in a text. The officer in the middle of the photos, Jaron Jones, resigned.
Marrero, Dittrich and Rosenblatt were fired on Friday for conduct unbecoming an officer.
Their attorney told CBS4 investigative reporter Brian Maass the officers have 10 business days to file from when they were fired. He provided no further comment.
Officer Jason Rosenblatt was terminated after responding via text to the photos with the word “haha.” Rosenblatt was one of the three officers who was involved in McClain’s arrest.
The Aurora Police Department says the photos were taken in October 2019. Police contacted McClain in August 2019. The 23-year-old was walking home from a store when a passerby called 911 and reported that he was acting odd. McClain was wearing a ski mask but was not armed, and had not committed a crime.
Three officers responded to the call, and located McClain walking northbound near Interstate 225.
McClain didn’t stop when officers told him to, later telling them he had his music playing on his headphones and couldn’t hear them. One officer grabbed McClain, who asked 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 show McClain reaching for their guns. McClain was placed in a chokehold, and tackled to the ground. He was also given ketamine, a sedative, by an Aurora Fire Department paramedic.
McClain later went into cardiac arrest and died at the hospital three days later.
The three officers involved in the incident surrounding McClain’s death were removed from patrol duty in June.
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said the City of Aurora is reconsidering their use of ketamine.