AURORA, Colo. — Protestors returned to the Aurora Police Department on Sunday, demanding justice for Elijah McClain. The 23-year-old died after an altercation with police back in August.
Police officers set up barriers Sunday afternoon in front of the Aurora Police Department—separating themselves from protesters, who chanted phrases for over an hour.
“We have to be out here putting the pressure on, and making sure that accountability does happen,” said Aurora resident Lillian House, who was at Sunday’s protest.
Just two days ago, the 17th Judicial District Attorney announced that the three officers involved in the altercation would not face criminal charges – saying there is no evidence the officers meant to hurt McClain.
The body camera video shows the 23-year-old wearing a ski mask, when police confronted him. A struggle ensued, and police say McClain tried to reach for an officer’s gun.
He was given the drug Ketamine to calm him down, and later died in the hospital.
“He just had on a ski mask. There’s nothing wrong with this. This is not an illegal item to have,” said community activist Terrance Roberts, holding up a black ski mask. “And if it was him, it could have been me,” he added.
Roberts says the focus now shifts to working on body camera legislation after all three body cameras fell off of the officers during the struggle.
“We need those body cameras to stay on their vest, to record these instances. That’s the whole point of purchasing them. That’s the whole point of spending millions of taxpayer dollars on these cameras,” Roberts said.
Aurora’s Deputy Police Chief Paul O’Keefe said last month the department was looking into a new body camera company.
“It is a common complaint for us in physical confrontations, for those to become dislodged,” O’Keefe said during an October press conference.
“We are looking at ways for the cameras we currently have to stay on better,” he added.
The protest ended Sunday afternoon, without incident.