Elijah McClain death: What we know so far

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – The FOX31 Problem Solvers have been working to bring you the most thorough investigations related to the Elijah McClain case since August 2019, when McClain was confronted by three police officers, injected with ketamine by paramedics and later died.

McClain, 23, was wearing a mask when someone called 911 to report that he seemed suspicious.  McClain often wore the mask while jogging, according to his family and friends. He was not committing a crime and was unarmed when police approached him.

FOX31 was the first to track down the store clerk and the surveillance video from the store where McClain was purchasing refreshments prior to being confronted by police. In the video, he does a peaceful bow to the man behind him in line. His sister described it as a gratitude bow. His motto was “with gratitude” she said.

The body camera footage wasn’t released publicly until months after McClain’s death.  We spent hours sorting through every minute of the footage to sync various angles and bring you the most complete picture of McClain’s final conscious moments.

It took more than two months for the coroner’s office to publicly announce that it could not determine a cause and manner of death with certainty.  The police officers used a carotid hold on McClain, and that could not be ruled out as a contributing factor.  The paramedics administered ketamine to sedate McClain, and an adverse reaction to the drug could not be ruled out.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers investigative team was the first to exclusively obtain and reveal internal video interviews with the Aurora police officers who were involved in the altercation.  You can watch how they described their own actions.

We also obtained documents showing at least one paramedic on the scene felt McClain received too much ketamine. You can read about that and see what the first responders had to say about how they decided what dose to give.

The City of Aurora Mayor Pro-Tem, Nicole Johnston said she fast-tracked a city meeting to learn more about the use of ketamine by paramedics after seeing a FOX31 report about ketamine and how it is used.

To learn more about what Aurora medical officials said about why they use ketamine click here:

Recently, a change.org petition has gathered millions of signatures asking for further investigation into the McClain case. We spoke to the teen who started a change.org petition and to the District Attorney about whether he’d reopen the case.

At the end of June, Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday afternoon that he has instructed his legal counsel to examine the investigation into the death of Elijah McClain.

“I am hearing from many Coloradans who have expressed concerns with the investigation of Elijah McClain’s death. As a result, I have instructed my legal council (sic) to examine what the state can do and we are assessing next steps,”  Polis said via Twitter.

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