Thursday, March 23Welcome

Editorial: Beyond politics, find out how and why McClane was killed at the hands of Aurora police and medics

Shaneen McClain, center, applauds speakers at the Aurora Municipal Center June 27, 2020. Thousands of people gathered to protest and pay tribute to Elijah McClain, who died last year after encountering three officers from the Aurora Police Department.
Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

N.Three years after Elijah McClain was murdered in a botched encounter with Aurora police and medical personnel, McClain’s family, and the general public, still have little understanding of the debacle.

News this week from the Adams County coroner’s office about McClane being injected with a lethal dose of ketamine did little to resolve the disaster.

One warm summer night, McClane was walking from a nearby convenience store to his apartment in North Aurora.

He never made it home alive.

As he walked, a passing driver noticed that McClane was wearing some kind of mask and that he was black. He called the dispatcher and specifically said he had never seen McClane do anything wrong or commit a crime.

When the co-pilot rolled up, he essentially pounced on McClane, startling him. Body cam video of the officer revealed how aggressively he stood up to McClane.

Other police officers arrived, escalating the situation and scaring an upset McClane.

As the police physically subdued him, he panicked and McClane began begging for his life. One of the officers strangled McClane with a chokehold, knocking him unconscious.

When the fire department doctors arrived, they injected McClain with ketamine, a powerful tranquilizer, even though McClain was unconscious. Medical personnel misjudged the 23-year-old’s weight and forced him to overdose.

He never regained consciousness.

A few weeks later, forensic consultant Stephen Cena said McClane’s cause of death was unknown.

The Adams County District Attorney did not file charges against police or medical personnel involved in McClane’s death.

Dozens of indictments were filed against police and medical personnel until Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser took up the case and presented it to a grand jury.

Last week, Sheena changed her assessment of McClane’s death, saying that after reviewing the information provided to the grand jury, it was clear that McClane had died from a tranquilizer injection.

“Without the ketamine dose, I think Mr. McClane would most likely be alive,” Sheena wrote in an amended report released this week following legal demands by the metropolitan media.

Still, Sheena didn’t consider whether McClane’s death was accidental or murder.

Either McClane wasn’t black, he lived in an affluent neighborhood, the police didn’t escalate the situation aggressively from the start, or it escalated further as the case unfolded, or the doctors were trained. Seek advice from an emergency specialist, or simply wait long enough that McClain was not a candidate for such an invasive procedure, or that they could accurately assess the patient and administer him the appropriate medication. McClain may actually be alive now.

But to show that McClane was the victim of a string of unfortunate accidents is shocking and jarring.

McClane was killed by a group of racist, bullying, and incompetent Aurora police and doctors who let the conflagration spiral out of control.

McClane did not commit suicide. He did not bring his own death. And McClane didn’t deserve his fate.

In parallel, some city council members are using McClane’s death as a dastardly attempt to win favor with members of the firefighters’ union, suggesting that the doctor who killed McClane with a ketamine injection actually did. is the victim of this incident and is wrongfully accused of causing the death of an innocent man. .

Union officials and some city council members have been hesitant by recent changes in laws and procedures and are moving away from ketamine toward safer tranquilizers used when really needed.

This kind of political drama undermines the public’s trust in Aurora’s medical rescue team and should stop now.

These medics regularly deliver complex, life-saving and dangerous moves to save lives. The implication that all medical personnel are potential victims of unfair or politicized investigations, based on McClane’s horribly preventable death, is offensive.

If it continues, the city should immediately stop providing emergency medical services to residents and contract with local ambulance providers, as the city of Aurora has done in the past.

These medics are hired, trained and paid to serve and maintain the lives of the people here in Aurora. City residents and businesses do not serve Aurora health workers who choose to participate in criminal investigation programs.

As for McClane’s justice, the trial against his accusers has been long overdue, and not only will we understand how and why McClane was killed, but the Aurora Police and Fire Department will regain public trust. important to be able to build. will happen again.

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