Elijah McClain's family to receive $ 15 million in settlement

Officials in Aurora, Colo. On Friday finalized a deal to pay Elijah McClain’s family $ 15 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsu...


Officials in Aurora, Colo. On Friday finalized a deal to pay Elijah McClain’s family $ 15 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit following the confrontation with police in 2019 that put end of his life, according to city officials and the family’s lawyer. Mr McClain, a 23-year-old black man, died after that town’s police held him back with a choke maneuver that has since been banned.

The deal, concluded in principle in July, is the largest police transaction in the city’s history and one of the largest resulting from similar cases in the United States, according to Qusair Mohamedbhai, the family’s lawyer. McClain.

Sheneen McClain, Elijah McClain’s mother, said in an interview on Saturday that she saw the settlement as an important step in seeking justice for her son’s death, but said: “There is nothing that can give me back what I lost. ” She also said the deal comes with its own pain. “It’s still blood money, because that money has my son’s blood on it.”

There will be an award hearing to determine the split of the settlement between Ms McClain and Mr McClain’s biological father, LaWayne Mosley.

On August 24, 2019, police received a call to 911 in which the appellant stated that Mr. McClain, who was driving home from a convenience store, “looked sketchy” and was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms. .

Police arrived and immobilized Mr. McClain, pulling him to the ground and subjecting him with a “carotid grip,” which restricts blood to the brain. Mr McClain had told officers he was simply walking home, according to one independent review. “I’m an introvert and I’m different,” he said during the confrontation, according to audio recordings from the judgment. “I’m just different,” he added. “That’s all. That’s all I was doing. I’m so sorry.”

While immobilized, Mr. McClain told officers he couldn’t breathe and he vomited, according to the exam. When paramedics arrived about 15 minutes later, they injected her with ketamine, a strong sedative. Mr. McClain went into cardiac arrest on his way to the hospital and died a few days later.

Mr. McClain’s parents filed a lawsuit for damages on August 11, 2020, which named the city of Aurora, 12 police officers, two fire department paramedics and the department’s medical director as defendants.

“Within 18 minutes, the defendants subjected Elijah to a procession of unnecessary and brutal force techniques and unnecessary and recklessly administered drugs, the combined effects of which he could not survive,” the trial said. .

Unrelated to trial, Colorado grand jury indicted three police officers and two paramedics on manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges. No hearing date has been set, according to Mohamedbhai.

“This tragedy has dramatically changed and shaped Aurora,” Jim Twombly, Aurora City Manager, said in a statement Friday. “In the two years since his death, we have taken a close look at our policies, our biases and our need to listen to our community.”

In 2020, Governor Jared Polis signed a sweeping law enforcement reform bill that banned strangling and limited the use of lethal force. It also allows complainants to bypass “Qualified immunity” a doctrine that can protect police misconduct from lawsuits for damages.

Earlier this year, Governor Polis signed a bill that restricts the ability of rescuers to administer ketamine.

Following investigation In policing Aurora which found a pattern of racial prejudice and excessive force, the city struck a deal with the state to make far-reaching changes in policing policies and practices.

“Elijah, here in Colorado, has been a lightning rod for social justice reform,” Mohamedbhai said.

Mr. McClain was an animal and music loving massage therapist, having learned to play the guitar and violin on his own.

His family knew him for his drive and determination to improve his life, an energy that they believe inspired those around him.

Mr. McClain suffered from asthma as a child, Ms. McClain said. But thanks to his perseverance, he has become a strong runner.

“Being able to run in the streets for hours, miles was something both of us, we were all proud,” she said. “He accomplished all his obstacles, he cleared the obstacles in his path and he eliminated them. “

Since her son’s death, Ms McClain, who raised Mr McClain as a single mother, both living sometimes in their cars and sometimes in hotels and shelters, has been instrumental in pushing government officials to act on police reform. .

“I have never seen such a willingness from a parent to really try to move our communities forward and make sense of Elijah’s senseless death,” Mohamedbhai said. “It really shows her light, her grace and her beauty.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Elijah McClain's family to receive $ 15 million in settlement
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