Elijah McClain investigators designed questions to help exonerate officers, independent report suggests

Tim O'Donnell
·1 min read

A new independent investigation commissioned by the city of Aurora, Colorado, "offered stunning details into the countless missteps" leading up to and following the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old unarmed Black man who died following an altercation with police officers in August 2019, reports The Daily Beast.

The report, which was not carried out with the intent of assessing whether misconduct occurred, concluded the three Aurora officers involved did not have any legal basis for confronting McClain, whom they placed in a carotid hold while he said he couldn't breathe. It also found that paramedics who arrived on scene failed to properly examine McClain before sedating him (even though he had passed out) with a dosage of ketamine that represented a "grossly inaccurate" estimation of his weight.

In the aftermath of McClain's death, the report suggests internal police investigators failed to ask the officers involved basic questions, instead seemingly designing their interrogation to "elicit specific exonerating 'magic language' found in court settings ... In addition, the report of the Major Crime Unit stretched the record to exonerate the officers rather than present a neutral version of the facts. It is hard to imagine any other persons involved in a fatal incident being interviewed as these officers were."

One of the three officers was fired from the force, while the other two were placed on "non-enforcement" duties, though they have not faced any criminal charges. Read more at The Daily Beast.

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