Local family accuses Aurora police of beating man

AURORA, Colo. -- A local family accused the Aurora Police Department of going too far during a weekend incident.

According to a press release from APD, police say it happened Saturday night on Billings Street near East Colfax Avenue. A call came in about a suspicious person who was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms.

Police say when officers arrived, they made contact with the suspect. The release goes on to say he resisted, they struggled, and then officers took the man into custody.

That’s when police say they called Aurora Fire Rescue for medical attention because of “the level of physical force” and his “agitated state.”

The release also says AFR claims they gave him a standard medication used to reduce agitation and while he was being transported to the hospital, he suffered cardiac arrest.

On Tuesday night, the Aurora family of 24-year-old Elijah McClain reached out to FOX31 and Channel 2 News to say that suspect was their relative and he is fighting for his life at a local hospital.

They are demanding to know what happened that night, accusing the officers of beating McClain.

“He has swelling in his face. He has swelling in his arms. He is unresponsive,” explained a woman who identified herself as McClain’s cousin.

“He’s been beaten. It’s not just that he had a heart attack. He was beaten, and you have all these bruises in your head,” added a second woman who also identified herself as a cousin.

On Wednesday, APD and AFR released a joint statement about the incident.

In the statement, the agencies said AFR had conducted a preliminary review of care provided to McClain during the incident.

"Aurora Fire Rescue, in conjunction with our EMS Medical Director, has conducted a preliminary review of the treatment provided and finds that the actions of the responders were consistent and aligned with our established protocols. In fact, the initial findings indicate that our personnel demonstrated a high level of technical skill and professionalism while providing care to the patient," the statement reads.

Police say the officers were wearing body cameras. FOX31 and Channel 2 News have requested that video.

The case is being investigated by the APD's Major Crimes and Homicide Unit and members of the Denver Police Department.

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