Colorado police chief fires officers who reenacted Elijah McClain's death
Interim Aurora, Colorado, police chief Vanessa Wilson fired two officers for reenacting the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain and a third officer for commenting on the photo that captured the "despicable act," the Washington Post reports.
Why it matters: McClain died in the summer of 2019 after police officers held him in a chokehold and paramedics used a sedative, ketamine. People have been protesting McClain's death recently after the police killing of George Floyd revitalized the movement against police brutality.
What they're saying: Wilson said she fired Officers Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich for posing with Jaron Jones, who resigned earlier this week. Wilson called the photo a "despicable act," per the Post.
- "And if any officer in this police department disagrees and thinks this was acceptable, I will gladly accept your resignation today."
- Jason Rosenblatt replied "ha ha" to the image when he received it, the Post notes.
The state of play: The renewed focus on McClain's death prompted Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) to reopen an inquiry and appoint a special prosecutor to the case.
- No police officer has been charged with McClain's death.
Context: A coroner's report concluded McClain died because of "undetermined causes" and the "evidence does not support the prosecution of a homicide," NBC reports.
- However, the coroner did not rule out that the chokehold and ketamine might have contributed to his death.
- The coroner "could not exclude the possibility that Mr. McClain suffered from an unexpected reaction to the drug."
Editor's note: Updates with additional details.