DENVER – Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser will make an announcement Wednesday morning on the grand jury investigation into the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain following a violent arrest by police in Aurora.
A news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. and Denver7 will carry it live on our website, our streaming platforms as well as our social media channels.
Gov. Jared Polis appointed Weiser to be the special prosecutor in a state investigation into McClain’s death to determine if the officers and paramedics involved in his arrest should face criminal charges and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Weiser announced he would make use of a grand jury for the investigation.
McClain’s death happened after a violent encounter with police on Aug. 24, 2019, as he walked home from a convenience store. The 23-year-old unarmed Black man was put in a carotid hold and paramedics injected him with a heavy dose of ketamine. He went into cardiac arrest and was declared brain dead days later before he died on Aug. 30, 2019.
Former Adams County District Attorney Dave Young cleared the three officers involved in McClain’s violent arrest of any criminal charges and Nick Metz, Aurora’s chief of police at the time, said the officers did not violate any of the department’s policies.
So far, no charges have been announced stemming from that investigation.
The grand jury investigation is just one of several investigations into McClain’s death and the actions that surrounded it at the local, state and federal levels – which became an international story during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests.
Those include a top-down review of the Aurora Police Department by the state attorney general, an independent investigation by Chicago-based 21CP Solutions of the police department, which found there’s too much red tape for discipline to be effective and that internal investigations take too long, and a review in the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office alongside the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
McClain’s family has also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the police department and the paramedics involved in his death.