Thousands protest death of Elijah McClain in Aurora

 Protesters take to the streets of Aurora over the death of Elijah McClain (source: KCNC).
Protesters take to the streets of Aurora over the death of Elijah McClain (source: KCNC). (KKTV)
Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 4:38 PM MDT
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Thousands of people are demanding justice for Elijah McClain


The 23-year-old died after an encounter with police in Aurora last August. Colorado's

Protesters took to outside the Aurora Police Department and beyond toting signs, holding speeches, and calling for the officers and paramedics involved to be arrested.

"The only way that I want people to go home satisfied tonight is that tonight, before midnight, they put every single one of those killers in jail. They put the paramedics in jail and the sergeant in jail," one said over a megaphone.

Thousands turned out, some even with ski masks like the one McClain was wearing the night he was killed.

In body camera footage, you can see McClain wearing the mask, which the family's lawyer says is because he gets cold. McClain had just gone to a local convince store and was walking home when police stopped him after getting a 911 call about a "suspicious person."

"I have a right to go where I am going," McClain said continuing to walk.

"And I have a right to stop you because you are being suspicious," one officer replied.

According to the Aurora Police Department, that's when the situation escalated.

"My name is Elijah McClain! That's not what I was doing! I was going home! I'm an introvert and I am different," McClain is heard saying as the camera becomes muffled.

A struggle ensues, and officers claim McClain reached for one of the officer's gun. They then put McClain into a carotid control hold--a control tactic used to restrict the flow of blood to the brain.

"I'm so sorry, I have no gun. I don't do that stuff. I don't do any fighting," McClain is heard saying.

Paramedics later arrive and inject Ketamine into McClain. He was then put into an ambulance and according to police, suffered cardiac arrest. He died several days later.

After seeing the body camera video, it's the words and the actions of first-responders that stuck with the protesters.

"It doesn't matter what racists in power say what is the cause of his death....we the people, his family, his loved ones....we know that it is through the paramedics, and those police officers and every person in power," one protester added.

The Adams County coroner ruled last year that McClain'a cause of death is "undetermined."

to view documents shared by the Aurora Police Department, including the autopsy report.