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Three Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain’s Death In Chokehold Photo

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 04 Jul 2020 10:41
Three Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain's Death In Chokehold PhotoThree Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain's Death In Chokehold PhotoFox 31 Denver

Three Denver police officers have been fired over a photo which re-enacted the chokehold Elijah McClain was put in by officers before his death.

McClain was killed after an altercation with police while he was walking home on August 24, 2019, after medics administered ketamine to sedate him while police forcibly held him on the ground.

As he was transported to hospital, McClain went into cardiac arrest. He was pronounced brain dead three days later, and later died after being removed from life support.

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Three Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain's Death In Chokehold PhotoThree Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain's Death In Chokehold PhotoCBS

Although the 23-year-old’s death received little media attention at the time, the unjust events surrounding his death have come to light in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has shone a light on the police brutality disproportionately suffered by the Black community.

However, protesters and members of law enforcement alike were horrified when an image appeared online, showing three police officers re-enacting the chokehold – in the same location – McClain was put in before his death.

The officers, who have now been fired, have been named as Jason Rosenblatt, Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich. A fourth, Jaron Jones, resigned over the incident on Tuesday, June 30.

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Three Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain's Death In Chokehold PhotoThree Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain's Death In Chokehold PhotoAurora Police Department

In the picture, Dittrich and Jones can be seen imitating the neck hold, while Marrero is smiling on their left. However, Rosenblatt was sent the photo by text and responded with: ‘Ha ha’.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Wilson, acting police chief of Aurora, Colorado, where the incident took place, has deeply critcised the alarming image, calling it a ‘crime against humanity and decency,’ adding that it shows a ‘lack of morals, values and integrity’.

At a news conference, she said, as per BBC News:

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We are ashamed, we are sickened, and we are angry about what I have to share.

While the allegations of this internal affairs case are not criminal, they are a crime against humanity and decency. To even think about doing such a thing is beyond comprehension and it is reprehensible.

Three Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain's Death In Chokehold PhotoThree Cops Fired For Mocking Elijah McClain's Death In Chokehold PhotoPA Images

Wilson said she had held off announcing the incident to the public, until she’d had chance to share them with McClain’s family first.

A lawyer for the McClain, Mari Newman, spoke out about the image, telling CBS Denver: ‘The callousness for human life, appalling.’

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A number of protests have taken place, calling on the police officers involved in McClain’s death to be held accountable. Demonstrators have also held violin vigils for him, as he was a keen musician who would play his violin to kittens in the shelter.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Aurora Police Department, Black Lives Matter, Denver, Elijah McClain, Now

Credits

CBS Denver and 1 other
  1. CBS Denver

    Three officers fired over selfie that reenacted chokehold on Elijah McClain

  2. BBC

    Elijah McClain: Denver officers fired for pictures mocking man's death