Nov 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Denver suburb agrees to pay $15 million settlement to Elijah McClain's family

Picture of a hand holding a cardboard that says "my name is Elijah McClain"
Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

The Denver suburb of Aurora agreed to pay a $15 million settlement to the family of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died in 2019 after officers put him in a chokehold and paramedics injected him with ketamine, AP reports.

What they're saying: "The money is just the world’s way of saying, ‘We’re sorry,’ but it’s not going to help me heal the hole in my heart," said Sheneen McClain, McClain's mother, per AP.

  • "No amount of money can change what happened or erase the pain and heartbreak experienced by the family over his loss," said Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly.
  • Twombly, along with other Aurora officials, said the settlement was a crucial step in order to regain community trust, per AP.

Catch up quick: Last month, it was announced that a settlement had been reached between Aurora and the McClain family.

Flashback: McClain's mother filed a lawsuit in August 2020, a year after McClain's death.

  • Three police officers and two paramedics were charged in connection to McClain's death with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

McClain, a massage therapist who played his violin for cats in a rescue shelter, suffered cardiac arrest following the confrontation with law enforcement and was declared brain dead.

  • His last words were caught on police camera footage: "I’m an introvert, and I’m just different," AP notes.
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