Colorado jury finds third police officer charged with demise of Elijah McClain not responsible – JURIST


A Colorado jury returned a not guilty verdict on Monday for a 3rd police officer charged within the 2019 demise of 23-year-old Elijah McClain. Aurora Police Officer Nathan Woodyard was charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent murder in 2021. Woodyard was one of many 5 individuals, together with three cops and two paramedics, who had been charged in a 32-count indictment.

In August 2019, the Aurora Police Division obtained a 911 call about McClain strolling on a road with a “full-on masks on,” carrying a plastic bag. Woodyard was considered one of three officers dispatched to the scene. He arrived first and ordered McClain to cease. Woodyard noticed no weapons however regarded the bag as “suspicious.” Joined by two different officers, the cease shortly became an try to restrain McClain bodily. To achieve management, Woodyard utilized a division tactic generally known as a carotid management maintain, which was later banned. The bodily wrestle to restrain McClain continued for a while.

Aurora Hearth Rescue paramedics Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper, whose trials begin later in November, arrived on the scene and injected a dose of ketamine that was larger than really helpful for McClain’s dimension, which prompted an overdose.

An amended 2021 autopsy report listed McClain’s method of demise as undermined however named the trigger as “issues of ketamine administration following forcible restraint.” Throughout Woodyard’s trial, expert witness Dr. Nadia Tereschenko testified that, in accordance with her emergency response expertise, the police’s function is to offer security, and paramedics are liable for offering medical care. She testified that paramedics fell beneath the usual of care when they didn’t conduct a full evaluation earlier than administering ketamine.

In October, a Colorado jury found one of many officers, Randy Roedema, responsible of criminally negligent murder however acquitted one other officer, Jason Rosenblatt. In 2021, an independent investigation panel concluded that officers couldn’t articulate what cheap suspicion that they had for the cease. In response to officers, McClain was in a high-crime space, waving his arms, carrying a masks, performing suspiciously and refusing to cease. Thus, the panel really helpful that the Aurora Police Division evaluation the coaching and supervision of officers and reform using power insurance policies and its de-escalation techniques.

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