Elijah McClain's mother says he was 'murdered' after governor assigns special prosecutor

The mother of Elijiah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died after police confronted him in Aurora, Colo., last August, said Thursday that law enforcement involved "murdered" her son.

The comments come after the state's governor, Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Colorado trucker's case provides pathways to revive pardon power Biden addresses Coloradans after wildfires: 'Incredible courage and resolve' MORE (D), announced that state Attorney General Phil Weiser (D) would reinvestigate the case as a special prosecutor. Polis's announcement comes after more than 3 million people signed a petition for the state to reinvestigate the case.

McClain, who worked as a massage therapist, was stopped by police on the night of Aug. 24, 2019, while walking home from a convenience store. McClain was wearing a ski mask when he was stopped, something his family has said wasn't unusual because doing so gave him comfort.


Dave Young, the district attorney originally on the case said that McClain dismissed multiple requests from the officer for him to stop. McClain's family has said that he was listening to music when police tried to stop him.

In Young's report, he quotes McClain saying, "Can you leave me alone, you guys started to arrest me and I was stopping my music to listen, now let me go."

One of the officers involved, Randy Roedema, has alleged that McClain reached for one of the officers' guns, prompting all three to tackle McClain, with one officer putting him in a chokehold.

"Let me go, no let me go, I am an introvert, please respect my boundaries that I am speaking," McClain can be heard saying on body cam footage.

When paramedics arrived on the scene they gave McClain ketamine to sedate him. He then suffered cardiac arrest which led to a loss of blood flow to the brain. He was pronounced dead three days later.

"He not only healed others, he healed himself," Sheneen McClain, Elijah's mother, told CBS News. "He was able to accept love and give love in varying forms."


She added: "They murdered him. They are bullies with badges."

Young in his initial report didn't move to charge the officers involved in McClain's death.

"They could have done a million things differently," Young said. "He didn't need to die. And the fact that he died does not warrant the basis for criminal charges."

Polis, in his statement, said that he was "moved" after speaking with Sheneen McClain.

"Elijah McClain should be alive today, and we owe it to his family to take this step and elevate the pursuit of justice in his name to a statewide concern," Polis said. "Now more than ever, we must do everything within our power to foster public trust and confidence in law enforcement and the criminal justice system."