Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died after Colorado cops placed him in a carotid holder and paramedics injected him with ketamine, died from these two actions, according to an updated autopsy.
A preliminary autopsy report, completed in November 2019, was unable to pinpoint the cause of McClain’s d*ath.
The new report was finalized in July 2021, but wasn’t released until Friday. Updated the Cause of Death but left the Mode of Death listed as “undefined” and not “homicide” or “accident”.
“I believe this tragic d*ath is most likely the result of ketamine toxicity,” wrote Dr. Stephen Cina in the updated autopsy. “I am in my opinion that [McClain] he would probably have recovered had he not received the injection.
McClain was returning home from the grocery store on August 24, 2019, when someone from Aurora, in a suburb of eastern Denver, called the police and said he looked “suspicious.”
Officers Randy Roedema, Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt responded. The cops put McClain in a hold in the carotid artery that restricts blood flow to the brain.
“I don’t have a gun. I’m not doing this. I’m not fighting. Why were you att*cking me? I’m not making a gun. I don’t even kill flies. I do not eat meat. … I’m a vegetarian, McClain pleaded as the cops held him down.
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When McClain lost consciousness, paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec appeared on the scene. They injected McClain with ketamine, a powerful sedative.
McClain stopped breathing and was taken to the hospital. He was pronounced brain dead and CPR disconnected six days later.
The local prosecutors never brought charges. But an investigation by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser led to mansl*ughter and m*rder charges.
“I don’t think anyone could reasonably argue that if Mr. McClain were allowed to just come home that night, he would have died,” University of Denver law professor Ian Farrell, who is not involved in the case, said NBC News. “So at least in a way [the five defendants] caused his d*ath by what they did legally.
The local coroner tried to deny a request for an updated postmortem examination, but Colorado Public Radio and other news organizations have sued for access. Their request was granted on Friday.
McClain’s family also sued Aurora for the wrongful d*ath and reached a settlement of $ 15 million.
With News Wire services
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