Elijah McClain, 23

Died in August 30, 2019 in Aurora, Colorado

Elijah McClain, 23, a massage therapist, was walking home from a convenience store with some iced tea on Aug. 24, 2019 when someone called 911, saying he “looked sketchy” and was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms.

The police arrived and moved to handcuff him, without telling him why. In the struggle, the officers used a carotid hold, which restricts blood flow to the brain to render someone unconscious. Mr. McClain’s final words were: “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe please. I can’t. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe, please stop.” On the way to a hospital, Mr. McClain went into cardiac arrest. He died days later.

An autopsy report, released in November 2019, ruled the cause of death “undetermined.” The county district attorney has filed no criminal charges because there was no evidence that officers Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema broke the law when they used force on McClain. No disciplinary action has been taken.

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