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Officers, paramedics indicted on 32 counts in Elijah McClain's death

DENVER (KDVR) — Three officers and two paramedics have been indicted on 32 counts by a grand jury in the death Elijah McClain. The charges come two years after the 23-year-old was placed in “carotid hold” by Aurora officers – which deprives oxygen from a person’s brain – and injected with the powerful sedative ketamine by paramedics.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser made the announcement Wednesday morning. Each of the five defendants face one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide.

The indictment is against Aurora police officers Nathan Woodyard and Randy Roedema, former Aurora police officer Jason Rosenblatt, and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec for their alleged conduct on the night of Aug. 24, 2019 that resulted in the death of McClain.

Weiser said officers Rodema and Rosenblatt also face a count of second-degree assault with the intent to cause bodily injury and caused serious bodily injury to McClain. Both also face one count of a crime of violence.

In addition to the manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges, paramedics Cooper and Cichuniec also face one count of second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and caused bodily injury. As well as one count of second-degree assault for recklessly causing serious injury by means of a deadly weapon– ketamine.

The paramedics also face one count of second-degree assault for a purpose other than medical or therapeutic treatment intentionally causing stupor unconsciousness or other physical or mental impairment or injury to McClain by administering ketamine without consent.

Cooper and Cichuniec also face two counts of crimes of violence related to each of the assault charges, Weiser announced.

Weiser said his office is filing the indictment in Adams County District Court and it will be unsealed.

Weiser spoke with McClain’s father, LaWayne Mosley, Tuesday. He reportedly wept tears of joy at the news the Colorado Attorney General would be issuing indictments.

“Nothing will bring back my son, but I am thankful that his killers will finally be held accountable,” shared LaWayne Mosley.

“For far too long, racist and brutal police across this country have acted as though the law does not apply to them. This indictment serves as a powerful reminder to all members of law enforcement that no one is above the law,” Mosley’s attorney, Mari Newman, said.

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McClain died in 2019 after an altercation with three police officers and after being sedated with ketamine.

Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order in June 2020, assigning Weiser as a special prosecutor to investigate McClain’s death.

He made the order months after Dave Young, the former District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District, declined to file any criminal charges and after local and national protests over McClain’s death were spurred by a Minnesota police officer’s murder of George Floyd.

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Colorado’s Attorney General announced he had handed the McClain case over to a grand jury in January 2021.

The investigations “need to be thorough. They need to inspire public confidence,” Polis said at the time. “I’m confident that the process is in place to do so with a special prosecutor. These are decisions that need to be well done rather than done too quickly.”

The FOX31 Problem Solvers have done extensive investigations into McClain’s death.

Catch up with the investigation here:


Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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