AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Three Aurora police officers and two medics appeared in court Monday after being indicted in Elijah McClain’s death. Officers Randy Roedema, Jason Rosenblatt and Nathan Woodyard and paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec appeared before a judge in Adams County Court in Brighton.
A little more than two years ago, after a confrontation with police, McClain was placed in a chokehold and tackled to the ground. Eventually, he was given ketamine, a sedative, by an Aurora Fire Department paramedic. He died days later, on Aug. 30, 2019.
All five defendants waived any oral advisement of the charges against them and the penalties they face.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced in September that a grand jury returned a 32-count indictment against the two Aurora police officers, a former Aurora police officer and two medics with Aurora fire involved in McClain’s death. The charges include manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, appeared in court to watch Monday’s proceedings. She said being in court was difficult but something she had to do as part of the process of getting justice for her son.
“Honestly, I’m glad I had my mask on because I was cussing underneath. It was heart-wrenching to see them. I purposely stared at every last one of them to see if they had the guts to look at me,” said McClain. “None of them did. None of them did. That’s normal for cowards.”
The next court appearance is set for Jan. 7, 2022.