DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis amended an executive order on Wednesday to further define the scope of the attorney general’s authority to investigate and potentially prosecute any offenses related to the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. The amended order clarifies that police officers can be prosecuted for criminal offenses in the case.
The governor announced changes to the executive order three weeks ago, which broadened the scope of the attorney general’s ability to prosecute wrongdoing. Some interpreted the changes to exclude law enforcement culpability, but the governor’s office said that was not the case.
“The intent is and always has been to allow the attorney general to conduct a complete and impartial investigation of this matter,” said Jacki Cooper Melmed, Chief Legal Counsel to the Governor.
The amended executive order states the attorney general can prosecute anyone, including law enforcement, for criminal offenses.
Elijah McClain died after an encounter with Aurora police in August of 2019. He was walking home from a convenience 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.