Elijah McClain's Family Reaches Settlement With City of Aurora, Amount to Be Revealed in Coming Weeks: Lawyer
Elijah McClain, 23, died in 2019 after being confronted by Aurora police officers on his way home from the convenience store, where he purchased an iced tea. He was unarmed, and loved ones say he volunteered at the animal shelter in his free time.
Elijah McClain’s family has reached a settlement with the city of Aurora, Colorado, more than two years after the 23-year-old unarmed Black man died after being stopped by police on his way home from a convenience store, according to representatives of the city and the family.
While financial details surrounding the settlement have not yet been disclosed, attorney Matthew Cron, who represents McClain’s mother, Sheneen, told Inside Edition Digital he expects to be able to share those details within the next few weeks, pending a decision on how the money will be split among Sheneen and McClain’s biological father.
“No amount of money can ever compensate Ms. McClain for the devastating loss her son, who she raised as a single mother. Ms. McClain would give anything for Elijah to experience the full, long life that he so richly deserved,” Cron said.
The settlement “resolves claims” stemming from a 106-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court by McClain’s family in August 2020, against the City of Aurora, its officers and paramedics, Cron said.
McClain, who worked as a massage therapist and volunteered at the animal shelter, had been on his way home in 2019 after purchasing an iced tea when Aurora Police confronted him after someone called 911 saying they saw someone acting suspiciously.
“I have a right to stop you because you’re being suspicious,” an officer said, according to bodycam footage.
After responding, “I’m just different,” according to bodycam footage, McClain is eventually placed in a chokehold — a maneuver which has since been banned — and passes out.
Paramedics called to the scene injected him with ketamine in order to subdue him, CBS News reported. McClain suffered a heart attack on the way to the hospital and died a few days later.
"Nothing will bring back his son Elijah, who he loved dearly, but he is hopeful that this settlement with Aurora, and the criminal charges against the officers and medics who killed Elijah, will allow his family and the community to begin to heal,” an attorney for McClain’s father, LaWayne Mosley, told CBS News.
While criminal charges were originally not filed against the officers involved, a grand jury investigation issued a 32-count indictment charging three police officers and two paramedics in September.
Aurora officers Randy Roedema, Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt and fire department paramedic Jeremy Cooper and fire Lt. Peter Cichuniec now face charges including manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, according to State Attorney General Phil Weiser.
All five are currently out on bond after having turned themselves in. Their next court date is November 1.
The Aurora Police Association said in a statement last month, "our officers did nothing wrong. McClain died due to a combination of exertion due to his decision to violently resist arrest and a preexisting heart condition. He was alive and talking when the officers turned him over to EMS. There is no evidence that our officers caused his death."
Aurora Fire Rescue did not immediately respond to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.
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