More than 70,000 people have signed a petition opposing the reinstatement of three Aurora, Colorado police officers who mocked the death of Elijah McClain in photos near the site where he was killed by cops.
According to 9 News, the former officers — Kyle Dittrich, Erica Morrera, and Jason Rosenblatt — were originally scheduled to appeal their terminations in hearings scheduled for this month. Rosenblatt’s hearing is now pushed back to Jan. 21-22, while Dittrich and Morrera’s hearings were moved to Feb. 1-2.
In the controversial photo, the two men and woman appeared to reenact the chokehold that was used on McClain by authorities during the night he fell unconscious.
“This is 2020 and they played a commonly known page from Jim Crow. These are supposed to be those that ‘serve and protect’ the most diverse community in Colorado,” wrote Darlene Jones, an Aurora resident who created the petition. “[McClain] was a son, a brother, a friend, and a light in our community. Many of us are still grieving.”
Last August, McClain was stopped by Aurora police officers as he walked home from the store. Someone called the police saying they spotted a “suspicious man” and officers quickly arrived at the scene. McClain was wearing a ski mask because he was anemic and needed to keep warm.
Police say they told McClain to “stop,” but he didn’t and the officers began to get physical with him. He was reportedly placed in a chokehold and held on the ground for 15 minutes. He vomited and yelled out, “I can’t breathe,” as he was restrained. Aurora paramedics were called to assist and injected McClain with approximately 500 milligrams of ketamine. He went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and fell into a coma. A few days later, he was taken off life support and died.