Elijah McClain: Autopsy reveals death by sedative, restraint


A black man who died after an encounter with police in suburban Denver in 2019 died from a powerful sedative injection after being raped, according to a revised autopsy report released today. Friday.

Reports suggest that the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old masseuse, has yet to be identified. McClain was held by the neck and injected with ketamine after being stopped by police in Aurora as “suspicious”. He has no weapon.

The original autopsy report written shortly after his death in August 2019 did not draw conclusions as to how he died or what pattern of death was, such as whether it was natural, random or random. accident or a murder. That is the main reason why prosecutors initially decided not to pursue the charges.

But last year, a state grand jury indicted three officers and two paramedics with manslaughter and reckless murder in McClain’s death after the case gained renewed attention following the incident. George Floyd’s death in 2020. It has become a rallying cry in the national inquiry into racism and police brutality.

The indictment references information from an unidentified pathologist, who concluded McClain died of complications from an injection of ketamine, a sedative, while being under the control of law enforcement and emergency responders. brutally subdued and restrained.

The five defendants have yet to issue a plea and their attorneys have not commented publicly on the allegations.

The updated autopsy was released Friday by court order in a lawsuit brought by Colorado Public Radio, which involved other media organizations including the Associated Press. Colorado Public Radio sued the investigator who released the report after learning that the report had been updated, arguing that it should be made available under the state’s public records law.

Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan said she could not release it because it contained confidential grand jury information and that disclosing it would violate an oath she did not share when she obtained it last year.

But Adams County Judge Kyle Seedorf asked the coroner to release the updated report on Friday, and the Denver judge who oversaw the state grand jury proceedings, Christopher Baumann, did ruled Thursday that the grand jury information was not redacted from the updated report.

McClain’s death prompted new scrutiny of ketamine use and prompted the Colorado Department of Health to issue a new rule limiting when emergency personnel can use it.

Last year, the city of Aurora agreed to pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit brought by McClain’s parents. The lawsuit alleges that the force officers used against McClain and his struggle to survive significantly increased the amount of lactic acid in his body, leading to his death, possibly along with his death. with the large dose of ketamine he was given.

An outside investigation commissioned by the city blamed police investigating McClain’s arrest for not pressing for answers about how officers treated him. There is no evidence to support the officers’ decision to stop McClain, who was reported as suspicious because he wore a ski mask as he walked down the street waving. He has not been charged with breaking any laws.

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