NewsElijah McClain | 360 In-Depth Coverage


Elijah McClain's death sparked change across Colorado, but family friend says more can be done

MiDian Holmes, supporter and friend of Sheneen McClain, says she wants to see more than just written policy.
Posted at 9:45 PM, Dec 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-21 00:20:18-05

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — More than four years after Elijah McClain’s death, MiDian Holmes, a friend and supporter of Elijah’s mother, shared her thoughts the evening before jury deliberations.

“I’m not going to allow for the courtroom to snatch my hope away again. I do, however, walk in with an expectancy that humanity meets every juror in their seat when they go to deliberate, and expectancy that we do get justice for Elijah McClain. We've been screaming it for so long,” said Holmes.

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There has been change in the wake of McClain’s death. In June 2020, the Aurora Police Department banned carotid pressure holds. The circumstances surrounding his death also led APD to enter into a 5-year-long consent decree with 68 mandates.

The report shows as of October — two years into the independent review — the city is in substantial compliance for 31 out of 68 mandates the monitor examined.

At the state level, in July 2021, Governor Jared Polis signed a bill banning police officers from directing paramedics to administer ketamine. The bill requires professionals to weigh people before injecting ketamine and bans medical providers from using ketamine to calm someone suspected of criminal behavior.

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However, Holmes said she doesn't feel these changes as people are still dying.

“I think that the family of Jor’Dell Richardsonwould agree with me. I think that the family of Brandon Colewould agree with me — both killed by the police," she said.

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