AURORA, Colo. — The 17th Judicial District Attorney Dave Young announced Friday evening that state criminal charges will not be filed against officers involved in an altercation with a man who later died.
Elijah McClain died after an incident with officers on Aug. 24, 2019. He encountered officers near Billings Street and East Colfax Avenue after someone reported a suspicious man running in the area, wearing a ski mask.
Aurora police said a “struggle ensued,” and they later called emergency medical responders to transport McClain to the hospital. They injected him with the sedative ketamine to reduce his agitation.
McClain later died.
Aurora police say officers’ body-worn cameras fell off during the altercation.
At a press conference Friday evening, Aurora police showed reporters body camera footage from officers who responded to the scene. They also played audio from the initial 911 call reporting McClain as suspicious.
Following the press conference, APD Chief Nick Metz spoke and answered questions.
He said he took issue with suggestions that officers intentionally removed their body-worn cameras.
Metz also said he wants to improve relations between the community and police.
“I have confidence in my officers. I believe my officers entered that situation with the best of intentions,” Metz said before adding, “If there are concerns in our community about regaining that trust, then we’ll have those conversations.”
Additionally, the body camera footage shows an officer threatening to put a K-9 on McClain. Metz said Friday that such behavior was unprofessional.
The Force Review Board at APD will investigate the case. If its members find force was used improperly, the case will be turned over to internal affairs.
Metz said he also wants the case to undergo a tactical review, which is intended to include viewpoints from outside the police department.
Watch APD’s Friday night press conference here:
On Saturday, Mari Newman, the attorney representing McClain’s family, led a press conference outside the Aurora Municipal Center: