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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Hundreds of people gathered outside the Aurora Municipal Building Saturday afternoon to honor Elijah McClain despite severe weather.

The 23-year-old died after an altercation with Aurora police officers in August of 2019. The officers were cleared of charges but members of the community continue to call for justice for McClain.

“Everything about today is intentional, informative and action-based,” an organizer said to the crowd. 

People of all ages and races came out for the demonstration before a powerful storm rolled through the area, bringing strong winds. Some left to find shelter but a large group remained despite the rain. Langton Smith, a 20-year-old Aurora resident was among them.

“We’re out here demanding justice for Elijah McClain. He’s not here right now so we’re going to stick through the rains and the storms to get justice for him,” Smith said.

Some felt the large group that stayed through the rain represented the reality of racism in America.
“Racism has remained. Rain, sleet or snow doesn’t make racism go away. And I think that their statement signified that,” Hashim Coates said.

The district attorney declined to pursue charges against any of the officers who interacted with McClain, including two who said they attempted a carotid hold on McClain during the altercation.

In one instance, the officers said McClain may have temporarily lost consciousness. A coroner could not rule out the officers’ actions as possible contributors to McClain’s death.