THREE officers and two medics were charged after Elijah McClain died when he was allegedly injected with ketamine and put in a chokehold.
The announcement on Wednesday comes two years after the 23-year-old Black man was put in a chokehold and injected with a powerful sedative in suburban Denver.
All five were charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, while some also face other charges.
McClain, 23, a massage therapist who loved animals and taught himself to play the guitar and violin, died after cops held him in a chokehold on August 24 2019.
He went out to purchase iced tea from his local convenience store at 10.30pm wearing a ski mask over his face as he was anemic and was sensitive to the cold.
On his way home, Aurora PD officers received a phone call complaint of a "suspicious" man walking around the neighborhood.
Three police officers responded to the scene, Nathan Woodyard, Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema.
Upon arrival, they placed McClain in a "carotid pressure hold" a controversial method designed to immobilize a suspect by blocking the artery in the neck and therefore the flow of blood to the brain.
The three cops said their body cameras were knocked off during a struggle with McClain.
The 23-year-old was forcibly held to the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Elijah reportedly gasped for air and pleaded that he couldn't breathe.
In bodycam footage obtained by McClain's family, an officer reportedly threatens him for struggling.
'DON'T MOVE AGAIN'
"One of the officers says, 'Don't move again. If you move again, I'm calling in a dog to bite you," according to a Change.org petition.
Elijah vomited, panicked, and was then injected with ketamine by paramedics in an effort to sedate him.
The drug caused Elijah to go into cardiac arrest on his way to the hospital, he fell into a coma, and three days later, he was pronounced dead.
One of the officers who placed Elijah in a chokehold – Jason Rosenblatt – was fired last summer after two of his colleagues mocked and reenacted the killing in a photo near to the victim's memorial, sent him the picture and he replied "HaHa."
The Aurora Police Department announced that Rosenblatt has been fired, along with officers Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich for their involvement in the reenacting of McClain’s killing.
A fourth officer, Jaron Jones, who also featured in the sick pictures, resigned ahead of the pre-disciplinary hearing.
Rosenblatt, who placed McClain in a chokehold, was not involved in the pictures but was terminated after receiving them and responding “HaHa.”
Aurora Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson released the photos, taken while all three officers were on duty and in uniform, two months after McClain’s fatal arrest.
Chief Wilson said the images were shown to McClain’s family before they were released to the public.
“We’re ashamed, we’re sickened and we’re angry,” said Chief Wilson in a press conference.
“While the allegations of this internal affairs case are not criminal, it is a crime against humanity and decency.”
“The fact that three on-duty, in-uniform police officers thought that it was appropriate to reenact the murder, jokingly, shows that the department is rotten to the core,” said Mari Newman, the McClain family’s lawyer.
“For her, [Elijah’s mother] it was just devastating to see that people were mocking the murder of her son.”
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