Colorado’s attorney general Phil Weiser says a grand jury has indicted three officers and two paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain.
The announcement 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’s death gained widespread attention during last year’s protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
Facing pressure, the governor ordered Attorney General Phil Weiser to open a new criminal investigation. The officers weren’t charged in 2019 after a prosecutor said an autopsy couldn’t determine how McClain died.
The officers stopped McClain as he walked down the street in the city of Aurora after a 911 caller reported he looked suspicious.
The 23-year-old’s death gained widespread attention during last year’s protests against racial injustice and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. McClain’s pleading words that were captured on police body camera video — including “I’m just different” — have been posted on signs at protests and spoken by celebrities who have joined those calling for the prosecution of the police officers who confronted McClain as he walked down the street in the city of Aurora after a 911 caller reported he looked suspicious.
Facing pressure amid the protests, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis ordered Weiser to open a new criminal investigation. A district attorney had said in 2019 that he could not charge the officers because an autopsy could not determine how McClain died.
In January, Weiser announced that he had opened a grand jury investigation in the case.