AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — More than 41,000 people have signed an online petition opposing the reinstatement of three Aurora police officers who posed for photos near the site of Elijah McClain’s deadly altercation with police. All three officers will be appealing their terminations in hearings beginning Dec. 9.

(courtesy: Aurora Police)

“This is 2020 and they played a commonly known page from Jim Crow. These are supposed to be those that ‘serve and protect’ the most diverse community in Colorado,” said Darlene Jones, an Aurora resident who started the petition. “[McClain] was a son, a brother, a friend, and a light in our community. Many of us are still grieving.”

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McClain died in August 2019, several days after being placed in a chokehold and injected with ketamine in a confrontation with police officers.

Elijah McClain (credit: CBS)

In October 2019, officers Erica Marrero, Kyle Dittrich and Jaron Jones took a photograph at a memorial to McClain near the site where he had been detained.

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(courtesy: Aurora Police)

Jason Rosenblatt, who has been present on the night McClain’s encounter with police, responded in a text to the photo, “haha.” Rosenblatt was fired.

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Anica Padilla