An Aurora police officer has resigned after being investigated for taking photos near where Elijah McClain was placed in a chokehold by a police officer last August. The photos, which have not been released, show officers allegedly reenacting the chokehold which police used after a confrontation with McClain.
Three officers had been placed on administrative leave in connection with the photos, but it’s not clear if Jaron Jones, the officer who resigned, was one of them. Jones had been working for the department since 2016.
"In response to inquiries by the press, Jaron Jones, hired October 31, 2016, tendered his resignation," Aurora police wrote on Twitter. "Jones was one of the employees involved and depicted in the photograph investigation related to #ElijahMcClain."
Police are expected to reveal full details of their investigation once it’s complete, according to the Interim Police Chief Vanessa Wilson.
“This will include reports, photographic evidence obtained, officer's names, and my final determination which can rise to the level of termination," Wilson said.
McClain, 23, was walking home in a ski mask last year when someone called 911when he was approached by a white police officer who cited that he had a right to stop him because a 911 caller had reported a suspicious person. Police told him they thought he had a weapon and an officer eventually put him in a chokehold while he pleaded on the ground that he couldn't breathe.
EMTs called to the scene then injected McClain with the sedative ketamine. He went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and died three days later after being taken off life support. The district attorney said that though the officers “could have done a million things differently,” there was not enough evidence to criminally charge them.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Denver Division of the FBI released a statement Tuesday saying they have been investigating McClain’s death since last year.
“The standard practice of the Department of Justice is to not discuss the existence or progress of ongoing investigations,” the news release read. “However, there are specific cases in which doing so is warranted if such information is in the best interest of the public and public safety. Recent attention on the death of Elijah McClain warrants such disclosure.”
They are probing whether there is evidence for a civil rights investigation. Their statement came after thousands of people took to social media to call for justice for McClain. The district attorney said that though the officers “could have done a million things differently,” there was not enough evidence to criminally charge them.