On Saturday (June 27), news broke that the officers involved in Elijah McClain’s death were reassigned due to safety concerns.
According to CNN, the three Colorado cops were taken off of street duty and were assigned to “non-enforcement” responsibilities. The latest development came after Governor Jared Polis signed a petition to investigate the death of McClain, who was 23 years old at the time.
“Today I signed an Executive Order designating Attorney General Phil Weiser to investigate and, if the facts support prosecution, criminally prosecute any individuals whose actions caused the death of Elijah McClain,” Polis wrote on social media.
Following McClain’s death in August 2019, the officers involved – Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema – were placed on administrative leave and were eventually reinstated after the Aurora Police Department review board cleared them of any wrongdoing.
“I was moved by speaking with Elijah’s mother and her description of her son as a responsible and curious child who became a vegetarian to be healthier, and who could inspire the darkest soul,” Polis said after announcing the investigation. “Public confidence in our law enforcement process is incredibly important now more than ever. A fair and objective process free from real or perceived bias for investigating officer-involved killings is critical.”
CNN reported that McClain could be heard saying “I’m an introvert, please respect the boundaries that I am speaking,” as officers wrestled him on the ground after receiving a call about a “suspicious” looking man. During this time, the former was also injected with Ketamine while he was unconscious. He later fell into a coma and died three days later.
At the time, an autopsy report revealed that McClain’s death was related to intense physical exertion and several other factors. In addition to people using social media to speak out on the matter, a petition was created with over 1.9 million signatures, calling for justice.