Elijah McClain’s Case Is Reopened by Colorado Governor

Courtesy of the Family of Elijah McClain

Elijah McClain, age 23, died after he was apprehended by Aurora police in August of 2019.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter and global George Floyd protests, we are seeing renewed calls for justice and demands for accountability and penalty. In August 2019, Black youth Elijah McClain was groundlessly, gruesomely murdered in Aurora, Colorado.  His harrowing, chilling fate echoes many cases that have recently surfaced.  He was an innocent, unarmed Black man, walking home alone at night, unlawfully murdered by the very people who have sworn to protect us. For the Aurora police officer on duty, the color of his skin was sufficiently incriminating evidence.

In combination with what the world now knows about McClain’s angelic spirit and consistent pattern of police brutality, it was hard to believe Elijah “resisted arrest.”  The officers tackled the scared youth, placed him in a stranglehold, and authorized first responders to inject him with Ketamine, a potent anesthetic that immobilizes individuals.  The three officers implicated in the murder were wearing body cameras; however, all three were “dislodged,” only leaving audio recordings to document the confrontation.  McClain’s attorney claims that the officers deliberately tampered with their cameras, citing a time in the video in which one officer directs his peer, “Move your camera, dude.”  

In response to political pressure spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement, and the disconcerting facts of the case, Colorado governor Jared Polis has revisited this case. He recently issued an executive order calling for Colorado’s attorney general to “investigate and, if the facts support prosecution, criminally prosecute any individuals whose actions caused the death of Elijah McClain.”

The public demands justice for Elijah McClain.

The Aurora Police Department’s depraved conduct communicates that they do not value black lives. The faces and identities of Black Americans blur together; they are all “criminals,” guilty of being black. This mindset is absolutely asinine, baseless, and disturbing.  We are unwilling and reluctant to believe that powerful figures who are appointed to protect us are not only failing to do so, but actively compromising our wellbeing. However, the disconcerting truth is that this is reality. But, it doesn’t have to be. Let’s continue to fight for racial equity and demand justice for the black lives that were taken unjustly.