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Family of Elijah McClain files civil rights lawsuit against city of Aurora, police, paramedics

Elijah McClain

The family of Elijah McClain has officially filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the city of Aurora, several police officers, two paramedics and a fire department medical director.

Back in Aug. of 2019, McClain was stopped as he was walking home from a convenience store after a 911 caller reported a “suspicious person.” The 23-year-old McClain was wearing a ski mask and listening to music on his headphones when the police officers approached him. Aurora police officers involved in the incident placed McClain in a chokehold. He was given a sedative by medical personnel and later suffered a heart attack while in the ambulance. McClain was declared brain dead three days later.

The lawsuit has been filed with the U.S. District Court in Colorado and alleges that McClain’s civil rights were violated and lists nine claims of relief including excessive force; denial of equal protection; failure to ensure basic safety and provide adequate medical care and treatment; substantive due process — deprivation of liberty – forcible administration of medication; battery causing wrongful death; and negligence causing wrongful death.

“We have filed this civil rights lawsuit to demand justice for Elijah McClain, to hold accountable the Aurora officials, police officers, and paramedics responsible for his murder, and to force the City of Aurora to change it longstanding pattern of brutal and racist policing,” the McClain family said in a statement released by their attorney Mari Newman.