Colorado officials agree to $15M settlement with Elijah McClain's family over his death

Officials in Aurora, Colo. agreed to settle with Elijah McClain’s family for $15 million following his death in 2019. 

The settlement was reached in federal court on Friday, with $10 million coming out of the city’s excess liability insurance policy and $5 million coming out of the city’s general fund, NBC News reported

In return, the family will dismiss the defendants from the lawsuit. The family and city agreed to settle in October, but a monetary amount was not agreed upon at the time. 


Matthew Cron, a lawyer for the McClain family, confirmed the settlement in a statement to The Hill. 

“No amount of money will ever bring Elijah back to his mother. Ms. McClain would return every cent for just one more day with her son,” Cron said. 

Once the defendants are dropped from the lawsuit, the $15 million will be given to the court registry while the family decides how to allocate the money. 

Cron said in the statement that an additional hearing will determine how the money is disbursed between McClain’s father and mother, noting Elijah McClain’s mom raised him “as a single parent.”

The federal civil rights lawsuit began in 2020 after McClain, a Black man, died in police custody. Police restrained McClain while he was walking home from the convenience store and put him in a now-banned chokehold. 

When medics arrived, they injected him with a dose of ketamine that was determined to be too high for his size. He died days later after he was taken off life support in the hospital.


The attorney for McClain's father said he is “hopefully this sends a message to police everywhere that there are consequences for their actions.”

grand jury last month indicted three police officers and two paramedics involved in the death on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

— Updated Nov. 20 at 3:26 p.m.