The “Justice For Elijah McClain” campaign has released a new public service announcement and some big names have joined the movement.
Janelle Monáe, Virgil Abloh, Cassie, Megan Good, Demi Moore, Brandon Marshall and more are all featured in the new PSA which calls for the top officials in Colorado to fire and charge the officers involved with McClain’s death.
On August 24, 2019, 23-year-old McClain was walking home from a store run at night in Aurora, Colorado. He was wearing a ski mask because he was anemic, according to his family, and needed to keep warm. Someone called the police saying they spotted a “suspicious man” and the officers quickly arrived.
Police say they told McClain to “stop,” but he didn’t and the officers began to get physical with him. He was reportedly placed in a chokehold and held on the ground for 15 minutes. He vomited and yelled out, “I can’t breathe,” as he was restrained. Aurora paramedics were called to assist and injected McClain with ketamine while he was already unconscious. He went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and fell into a coma. A few days later, he was taken off life support and died.
Last month, REVOLT reported that the state health department was reopening its investigation into the use of ketamine during McClain’s deadly arrest.
“The department received numerous complaints, beginning on June 24, 2020, that provided additional information regarding a ketamine administration in August 2019. The department launched a complaint investigation which is currently ongoing,” said Peter Myers, a representative for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The City Council is also conducting an independent investigation into McClain’s death. The group will review policies regarding ketamine use, calls for service and medical assistance, administrative incident reviews, police contact with suspects and use of police force.
After their investigation is concluded, they will send a letter to the Aurora City Council with new policy recommendations for the city’s police, EMT and fire departments. Check out the PSA below.