Protesters surround Aurora Police precinct after photos emerge of officers mocking Elijah McClain’s death
In Colorado, protesters marched and gathered outside the Aurora Police Department (APD) precinct Friday evening to demand the remaining two officers involved in the death of Elijah McClain to be terminated from their jobs.
Demonstrators maintained their position through the night and into Saturday, with a few protesters remaining at the precinct site through the morning, according to local NBC affiliate 9 News.
One officer involved in McClain’s death already resigned after a recent image appeared depicting police reenacting the carotid hold near a memorial for McClain, the same chokehold used at the time of his death.
The officer who resigned reportedly replied, “HaHa” to the photo that was sent to him, and other officers involved said the image intended to “cheer up” their coworker.
The protests formed the same day APD released the image to the public, showing the officers smiling with the chokehold pose near McClain’s memorial.
The march to APD Precinct One started from Evergreen Avenue and Billings Street, the site of McClain’s death while in police custody in August 2019.
Authorities reported the protests were peaceful as numerous demonstrators began dancing as a form of rebellion and in honor of McClain, who was reportedly dancing at the time of his arrest.
Quick update from #APDOCCUPATION at @AuroraPD District 1. Elijah was dancing when police stopped him. Protesters say they’re dancing not to celebrate but to rebel. Protest has remained peaceful. No show of force from police. #9News pic.twitter.com/4PjIiXg6ya
— Ryan Haarer (@RyanHaarer) July 4, 2020
McClain was stopped by authorities in August while walking on his way home from a convenience store. He was wearing a ski mask to help him stay warm due to anemia and aid his social anxieties, according to his family.
His original district attorney Dave Young said McClain ignored police requests to stop. However, his family said McClain did not hear the authorities because he was listening to music through his headphones.
Police put McClain into a carotid chokehold causing him to vomit and later injected him with Ketamine, which led him to have a heart attack. He was pronounced dead three days following the incident.
Governor Jared Polis (D) announced last week Attorney General Phil Weiser (D) would reinvestigate McClain’s case as a special prosecutor.