On September 1, officers Randy Roedema, Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, fire department paramedic Jeremy Cooper, and fire Lieutenant Peter Cichuniec have been criminally charged in the death of 23-year-old Aurora Colorado resident Elijah McClain.
According to a statement acquired by ABC News, officers Roedema, Woodyard and Rosenblatt, and fire department paramedic Cooper and Cichuniec “were all charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Roedema and Rosenblatt also each face a charge of second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and one count of a crime of violence related to the assault charge. Cooper and Cichuniec also each face three counts of second-degree assault.”
“What I set out to do is still not over, but I’m halfway there. I’m halfway there,” McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, told The Associated Press.
Two years ago, on August 24, McClain was walking down the street on his way to buy his mom some iced tea when a person who found him suspicious decided to 911 and report him.
McClain was walking on his way home and got stopped by police and was jumped by them and then slammed to the ground.
The incident, which was captured on police body cameras, recorded the young adult began to go back and forth with the officers.
McClain can be heard saying, “I’m just different,” and soon got placed into a chokehold.
“I’m just different. I’m just different, that’s all,” McClain pleased as he was restrained. “I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why were you attacking me? I don’t do guns. I don’t even kill flies.”
Paramedics then arrived at the scene and injected him with 500 mg of ketamine, which caused him to later suffer from a heart attack in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
McClain was pronounced braindead soon after this and was taken off life support weeks later, dying on August 30, 2019. Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said the department would continue its effort to cooperate with the investigation.
“I know this has been a long-awaited decision for Ms. McClain and her family. This tragedy will forever be imprinted on our community,” she said in a statement.
The indictment comes after three Aurora officers, including Rosenblatt, were forced to resign after mimicking the chokehold used on McClain.