Independent Report Is Highly Critical of Colorado Police in Death of Elijah McClain


At one level, Officer Roedema might be heard on police physique digital camera video saying, “He grabbed your gun, dude.” That escalated the confrontation. Officer Woodyard, who was holding Mr. McClain’s left arm, later informed investigators that after that remark, his purpose was to “take him down to the ground as hard” as he might.

Ms. Newman, the lawyer for Mr. McClain’s father, disputes this element, saying it was “clearly fabricated” by the officers in an effort to justify their conduct. She additionally stated that the officers’ weapons have been in “security holsters” and couldn’t simply be eliminated.

Officer Rosenblatt stated he utilized a carotid maintain to Mr. McClain’s neck for about one second because the officers have been wrestling the 5-foot-7 Mr. McClain to the bottom, in keeping with the report. A carotid maintain, in keeping with the report, is the applying of strain “to the left and right sides of a subject’s neck to deprive the brain of oxygen and induce unconsciousness.”

Whereas Mr. McClain was on the bottom, Officer Woodyard utilized one other carotid maintain to him.

The officers “applied pain compliance techniques and restraints to Mr. McClain continuously from the first moments of the encounter until he was taken away on a gurney,” the report stated.

Because the officers did this, the report stated, Mr. McClain might be heard on police physique video saying: “You all are phenomenal, you are beautiful. Forgive me.”

“Ow, that really hurt,” he stated. “You guys are too strong.”

In accordance with the report, Mr. McClain stated as his voice trailed off, “It’s just that I can’t breathe correctly because …”

When emergency medical employees arrived, they appeared “to have accepted the officers’ impression that Mr. McClain had excited delirium without corroborating that impression through meaningful observation or diagnostic examination of Mr. McClain,” the report stated.



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