Aurora council members narrow selection for Elijah McClain investigation

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Members of Aurora City Council’s Public Safety, Courts, and Civil Service committee said they are considering a civil rights attorney, Jonathan M. Smith, to be part of the independent investigation the City plans to launch into the death of Elijah McClain.

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Smith currently serves as the executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.

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According to his online biography, he previously worked for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. He served as the Chief of the Special Litigation Section, the group that handled the investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri police department after the controversial shooting of Michael Brown, that led to months of protests in 2014.

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During Thursday’s committee meeting, council members said they were still seeking a medical expert to contribute to the investigation into Aurora Fire Rescue’s actions prior to McClain’s death. Council members they were looking for someone who is not local and would not have a conflict of interest.

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Committee members said the scope of the inquiry would include an investigation into the actions of the police officers and the paramedics who responded to the scene prior to McClain’s death.

The investigators must work in tandem with the attorney general’s office, members said.

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