Elijah McClain (2019)

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Elijah McClain
Elijah McClain
Body-worn camera video

On August 24, 2019, Aurora Colorado Police Department officers Randy Roedema, Jason Rosenblatt, and Nathan Woodyard confronted McClain after responding to a call about an unarmed person wearing a ski mask that looked "sketchy".

McClain was forcibly held to the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. Paramedics later administered ketamine to McClain to sedate him. While on scene, McClain went into cardiac arrest. Three days after arriving at the hospital, he was declared brain dead, and was removed from life support on August 30.

On October 20, 2019, Erica Marrero, Jaron Jones, and Kyle Dittrich were on-duty and had just completed a call in the area when they took photos near McClain’s memorial. Another officer reported the photos to a sergeant in June, 2020.[1]

On November 22, 2019, District Attorney Dave Young stated that charges would not be filed against the officers, as the pathologist who conducted the autopsy stated that he was unable to conclude that the actions of any law enforcement officer caused Mr. McClain’s death. [2]

On February 6, 2020, an Aurora Police Department internal Force Review Board cleared the three officers, finding that their actions were "within policy and consistent with training." [3]

On June 25, 2020, District Attorney Dave Young restated that charges would not be filed against the officers.[4]

On June 25, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis appointed Weiser as a special prosecutor in the case. [5]

On July 3, 2020, Interim Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson announces the termination of Erica Marrero, Kyle Dittrich, and Jason Rosenblatt in relation to inappropriate photos taken at the Elijah McClain memorial site, and the resignation of Jaron Jones who was involved in the photo incident.[6]

On August 11, 2020, the family of Elijah McClain files a federal lawsuit against the city of Aurora and several employees, claiming excessive force, denial of equal protection, failure to ensure basic safety and provide adequate medical care and treatment, substantive due process -- deprivation of liberty -- forcible administration of medication, battery causing wrongful death, and negligence causing wrongful death.[6][7]

On September 1, 2021, a grand jury returned 32 counts against Roedema, Rosenblatt, Woodyard, and the two paramedics involved. Each faces one count each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Roedema and Rosenblatt also face one count each of second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and crime of violence.[8][9]

On October 18, 2021, attorneys representing McClain's estate announced they had settled their federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Aurora for an undisclosed sum.[10]

On November 17, 2021, news sources reported that the city agreed to pay $15 million to settle the lawsuit.[11]

In August 2023, prosecutors removed the "crime of violence" sentence enhancement against Roedema and Rosenblatt, which would have imposed higher minimum prison sentences. The prosecutor claimed that the enhancement charges were "unnecessary and would not affect the amount of time the officers might spend in prison".[12]

On October 12, 2023, a jury convicted Roedema of felony criminally negligent homicide and misdemeanor third-degree assault. Roedema faces up to three years in prison on the homicide charge.[13][14]

On October 12, 2023, a jury found Rosenblatt not guilty of all charges.[13]

On October 12, 2023, Roedema was fired.[13]

Woodyard pleaded not guilty.[15]

On November 6, 2023, Woodyard was found not guilty by a jury.[15]

On November 28, 2023, Woodyard returned to work on restricted duty, where he will not be uniform nor have contact with the public.[16]

On December 22, 2023, a jury convicted the two paramedics of criminally negligent homicide while acquitting them of assault in the second-degree with intent to cause bodily injury causing serious bodily injury. One was also found guilty of second-degree assault through unlawful administration of drugs.[17]

On January 5, 2024, Roedema was sentenced to 14 months in jail for the assault charge, and 90 days for the homicide charge, to be served concurrently.[14]

On January 12, 2024, Woodyard resigned.[18]

Roedema appealed his conviction, claiming possible errors surrounding his trial.[19]

Officers Involved

Official Reports

Additional Sources

Wikipedia article


  1. Patty Nieberg, Cops fired over photos of chokehold used on Elijah McClain, Associated Press, 2020-07-10
  2. Dave Young, Report on the Investigation into the death of Elijah McClain, District Attorney's Office, 2019-11-22
  3. Allison Sylte, Police board clears Aurora officers in death of Elijah McClain, 23, 9News, 2021-02-22
  4. Elijah McClain Death: District Attorney Says Evidence Does Not Support Homicide Ruling, CBS4 Denver, 2020-06-25
  5. Executive Order Designating State's Prosecutor, Governor Jared Polis, 2020-06-25
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Elijah McClain Case, City of Aurora, 2020-07-03
  7. Leslie Perrot, Elijah McClain's family files civil rights lawsuit against Aurora, Colorado, CNN, 2020-08-11
  8. Grand jury returns 32-count indictment in Elijah McClain case, 9News, 2021-09-01
  9. Statewide grand jury returns 32-count indictment against Aurora Police officers and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain, Colorado Attorney General, 2021-09-01
  10. Quincy Snowdon, Attorneys announce settlement agreement in Elijah McClain civil case; amount not revealed, Sentinel Colorado, 2021-10-18
  11. Brian Maass, Aurora Agrees To Pay $15 Million In Elijah McClain Case; Largest Police Related Settlement In City, Colorado History, CBS 4 Denver, 2021-11-17
  12. Shelly Bradbury, Charges reduced for two officers in Elijah McClain case as trial nears, Denver Post, 2023-08-21
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Robert Garrison, APD terminates officer convicted in Elijah McClain's death, ABC 7 Denver, 2023-10-14
  14. 14.0 14.1 Kiara Alfonseca, Former police officer convicted in Elijah McClain's death sentenced to 14 months, ABC News, 2024-01-05
  15. 15.0 15.1 Eric Levenson, Officer who arrested Elijah McClain found not guilty, CNN, 2023-11-06
  16. Angela Case, Officer acquitted in Elijah McClain death returns to work at Aurora PD, 9 News, 2023-11-28
  17. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Colorado paramedics found guilty in 2019 death of Elijah McClain after ketamine injection overdose, FOX News, 2023-12-22
  18. Jennifer Campbell-Hicks, Officer acquitted in Elijah McClain's death resigns from Aurora Police, 9 NEWS, 2024-01-16
  19. Kevin Vaughan, Only police officer convicted in death of Elijah McClain appeals verdict, alleging errors, 9News, 2024-02-22

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