DENVER (CBS4) – Advocates for the Elijah McClain case in Aurora protested in downtown Denver on Saturday. They gathered on the west steps of the State Capitol building.
There, supporters of President Donald Trump met them. Law enforcement was also there and kept the groups separated with police tape.
Trump supporters later moved on and marched through downtown Denver with law enforcement nearby.
Elijah McClain died after an encounter with Aurora police in August of 2019. He was walking home from a convenient store wearing a face mask. Someone called police to report a suspicious person.
Officers tried to arrest McClain and used a carotid hold to restrain him. Paramedics injected McClain with ketamine to subdue him. McClain later went into cardiac arrest and was pulled off life support days later.
In August, Colorado Attorney General confirmed his office had been investigating “patterns and practices of the Aurora Police Department that might deprive individuals of their constitutional rights under state or federal law. This patterns and practice investigation, authorized by SB20-217, is in addition to a separate investigation the office is conducting into the death of Elijah McClain. In order to maintain the impartiality and integrity of these investigations, the Attorney General’s Office has no further comment at this time.”
McClain supporters called attention to concerns about changes, announced in an executive order by Gov. Jared Polis, to the investigation into his death being loosened. Polis appointed Weiser as a Special Prosecutor to examine the case.
The new order expands the scope of who can be prosecuted by replacing the term “law enforcement officers” with “any persons.”
The Party for Socialism and Liberation, which organized Saturday’s protest, says Weiser is only investigating offenses and not criminal activity.
They say it opens “up the possibility for him (Weiser) to come back with watered down charges against the killers, like we saw in Breonna Taylor’s case.”
The governor’s office issued this statement regarding the concerns:
“The updated language expands the authority of the attorney general to investigate all legal charges including criminal charges should the investigation warrant them. Everything that could have been investigated under the old order stands, and now the investigation can be expanded. The investigation continues and it will be thorough, guided by the facts, and work to build public trust in Colorado’s criminal justice system.”