(CBS4/AP) — One of the many names chanted at protests last summer following the death of George Floyd was Colorado’s own Elijah McClain. McClain died following an encounter with Aurora police back in August 2019.
The McClain family released a statement on Tuesday, after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in Floyd’s death:READ MORE: Pedro Juan Gallegos Arrested, Accused In Weekend Shooting Of Denver Police Officer
“We are gratified to see that Derek Chauvin has been held criminally accountable for murdering George Floyd. Any other result would have been a stunning miscarriage of justice for a murder that the entire world witnessed on video.
“Unfortunately, Colorado prosecutors have not shown the same commitment to holding officers accountable for the murder of civilians. So far, we have not seen any charges against those who murdered Elijah McClain, an innocent young Black man who was walking home minding his own business. And, unlike the City of Minneapolis — which acknowledged its own failures by firing the officers who killed Gorge Floyd and providing some remedy to Mr. Floyd’s family — Aurora, Colorado continues to deny accountability for killing Elijah McClain, refuses to fire all of the officers who killed Elijah McClain and failed to intervene to stop the outrageous use of force against him, and has provided no remedy to Elijah’s family.
“Elijah McClain’s father, LaWayne Mosley, was gratified that the Floyd family has seen some modicum of accountability: ‘Nothing will bring George Floyd back, just like nothing will bring Elijah back. But I am happy for the family of George Floyd that the officers who killed him have been held accountable.’”
Police were seen on body cam video throwing McClain to the ground and using a chokehold that has since been banned. Paramedics used ketamine to sedate him.
Captured on police body camera footage, he tells officers that he’s an introvert and “different” several times. Later, while officers talk to each other about what happened, McClain says he doesn’t believe in guns, doesn’t kill flies or eat meat and that “you are all phenomenal, you are beautiful.” They didn’t respond.READ MORE: Winter Driving Returns To Colorado's I-70 Mountain Corridor, Truckers Will Need Chains
McClain, who was 23 years old, died days later.
Back in March, Sheneen McClain said she knew her son was innocent but is glad the world knows it, too. When people die at the hands of police, the first question many ask is what the person was doing wrong and then write it off when they find out, she told The Associated Press.
“But you can’t do that with Elijah. You can’t just be like ‘OK’ with Elijah. You just, you got to know why, why it happened. It just invokes people to want to change things,” she said.
Since her son’s story spread around the world, amid protests over police brutality and racial injustice, people have been drawn to stories about him, including how he played his violin to comfort cats at an animal shelter and what he said to the officers who stopped him.
The Colorado attorney general has opened a grand jury investigation into the case. There is no timeline for when that could be completed.MORE NEWS: Denver Weather: Rain Today Before Unusual Mid-May Snow Tonight
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)