/  07.25.2020

On Thursday (July 23), Aurora community leaders filed a lawsuit against the city’s police department and its interim chief for their response to the Elijah McClain protest last month. 

“Aurora’s deployment of riot police, who indiscriminately unleashed chemical agents, projectiles, and batons on peaceful protesters celebrating Elijah’s life and calling for justice at a violin vigil, is part and parcel of the same brutality, racism, and disregard for the Constitution that caused them to murder Elijah,” attorney Mari Newman said in a statement.

The news regarding the lawsuit came after three officers were fired earlier this month for mocking McClain’s chokehold. In the viral photo, ex-cops Kyle Dittrich, Erica Morrera and Jason Rosenblatt appeared to reenact the cruelty that was imposed on the late 23-year-old. Jaron Jones, a former cop who joined the force in 2016, resigned for his participation in the matter.

“In response to inquiries by the press, Jaron Jones, hired October 31, 2016, tendered his resignation,” the Aurora Police Department tweeted. “Jones was one of the employees involved and depicted in the photograph investigation related to #ElijahMcClain. We will continue to update with developments as we proceed.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that cops’ behavior have been questioned amid the ongoing protests in America, calling for racial equality. Last week, Philadelphia protesters sued the city and its police officers for their use of military-style force during an organized event. Bret Grote, legal director of the Abolitionist Law Center, recalled authorities opening fire on several people. As a result, Mayor Jim Kenney said that there will be an independent investigation to hold everyone involved accountable.

“They were just opening fire on anybody they saw, for hours and hours, regardless of any conduct or justification,” Grote remembered. “They were shooting children. They were shooting old people. They were shooting residents on their own street. They were gassing the firefighters.”


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