Charges Announced In Elijah McClain Death

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3 cops, 2 paramedics are now facing charges in controversial death

By Ben Burke (Producer)

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser unsealed a 32-count indictment against three officers and two paramedics Wednesday. They are facing charges in the controversial death of Elijah McClain in 2019. The video above shows the announcement and the body cam video released after McClain’s death.

The five people facing charges in McClain’s death are Aurora Police Officers Randy Roedema and Nathan Woodyard, former Aurora Police Officer Jason Rosenblatt, and Aurora Fire Rescue Paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec. “Each of the five defendants face one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide,” Weiser said.

Roedema and Rosenblatt are also charged with second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and one count of a crime of violence related to the assault charge. Cooper and Cichuniec also face three counts of second-degree assault each.

At the news conference, Weiser said the goal was to seek justice for McClain and his loved ones. “He was a son, a nephew, a brother, a friend,” Weiser said. “He had his whole life ahead of him.”

McClain was allegedly put into a chokehold and injected with Ketamine without his consent while in police custody on Aug. 24, 2019.

At first, a district attorney said he could not file charges related to McClain’s death because an autopsy could not determine how he died. Then under pressure in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the ensuing nationwide protests in 2020, Gov. Jared Polis ordered Weiser to open a new criminal investigation.

McClain’s pleading words — “I’m just different” — were posted on signs at protests and spoken by celebrities who joined those calling for the prosecution of the officers. They had allegedly stopped McClain as he walked down the street after a 911 caller reported that he looked suspicious.

The lawyers for the defendants did not comment. The Aurora Police Association released a statement saying there was no evidence the officers caused McClain’s death. “The hysterical overreaction to this case has severely damaged the police department,” the union said.

The Aurora Police Department has been plagued by allegations of misconduct against people of color. Earlier this summer, an officer was charged with pistol-whipping a black man. The department’s new chief has vowed to work to rebuild public trust.

 

 

 

Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General: “Late last Thursday, after careful and thoughtful deliberation, the grand jury returned a 32 count indictment against Aurora police officers Randy Roedema and Nathan Woodyard, former Aurora police officer Jason Rosenblatt, and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec for their alleged conduct on the night of August 24th, 2019 that resulted in the death of Mr. McClain. Each of the five defendants face one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide. Officers Roedema and Rosenblatt also face, each of them, a count of second degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and caused serious bodily injury to Mr. McClain. Both also face one count of a crime of violence related to the second degree assault bodily injury charge. In addition to the manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges, paramedics Cooper and Cichuniec also face one count second degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and caused bodily injury, one count second degree assault for recklessly causing serious bodily injury by means of a deadly weapon, ketamine, one count second degree assault for a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment, intentionally causing stupor, unconsciousness or other physical or mental impairment or injury to Mr. McClain by administering a drug, ketamine, without consent. Cooper and Cichuniec also face two counts of crimes of violence for each of the assault charges.”

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Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser unsealed a 32-count indictment against three officers and two paramedics Wednesday. They are facing charges in the controversial death of Elijah McClain in 2019. The video above shows the announcement and the body cam video released after McClain’s death.

The five people facing charges in McClain’s death are Aurora Police Officers Randy Roedema and Nathan Woodyard, former Aurora Police Officer Jason Rosenblatt, and Aurora Fire Rescue Paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec. “Each of the five defendants face one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide,” Weiser said.

Roedema and Rosenblatt are also charged with second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and one count of a crime of violence related to the assault charge. Cooper and Cichuniec also face three counts of second-degree assault each.

At the news conference, Weiser said the goal was to seek justice for McClain and his loved ones. “He was a son, a nephew, a brother, a friend,” Weiser said. “He had his whole life ahead of him.”

McClain was allegedly put into a chokehold and injected with Ketamine without his consent while in police custody on Aug. 24, 2019.

At first, a district attorney said he could not file charges related to McClain’s death because an autopsy could not determine how he died. Then under pressure in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the ensuing nationwide protests in 2020, Gov. Jared Polis ordered Weiser to open a new criminal investigation.

McClain’s pleading words — “I’m just different” — were posted on signs at protests and spoken by celebrities who joined those calling for the prosecution of the officers. They had allegedly stopped McClain as he walked down the street after a 911 caller reported that he looked suspicious.

The lawyers for the defendants did not comment. The Aurora Police Association released a statement saying there was no evidence the officers caused McClain’s death. “The hysterical overreaction to this case has severely damaged the police department,” the union said.

The Aurora Police Department has been plagued by allegations of misconduct against people of color. Earlier this summer, an officer was charged with pistol-whipping a black man. The department’s new chief has vowed to work to rebuild public trust.

 

 

 

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