It could be several more months before Elijah McClain’s family is paid the $15 million it is owed by the city of Aurora for Elijah’s death.
The money is being held in federal court coffers until a judge decides how to divide the funds between McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, and father, Lawayne Mosley. The next court hearing is scheduled for early January.
“We are hopeful that the court will be able to assist the parties in resolving any remaining conflicts so that the family can close this chapter,” Mosley’s attorney, Mari Newman, said.
There’s no love lost between Sheneen McClain, a single mother who raised Elijah, and Mosley. “How can you not attend a single birthday, not attend any milestones in a person’s life and attempt to profit on their death?” Siddhartha Rathod, an attorney for Elijah McClain’s mother, told The Denver Gazette, referring to Mosley and Elijah McClain’s relationship.
According to a statement from Aurora officials, the city’s excess liability insurance policy covered $10 million of the settlement, the maximum amount the policy will pay. The remaining $5 million came from the city’s general fund.
Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man, died Aug. 14, 2019, several days after police forcefully detained him and put him in a control hold as he walked home from a convenience store. A 911 caller told dispatchers that McClain looked “sketchy.” Paramedics injected Elijah McClain with the sedative ketamine. The dose was too large for Elijah McClain to handle.
One of the two paramedics involved in Elijah McClain’s death asked a judge to dismiss the charges against him. Former Aurora Fire Rescue paramedic Peter Cichuniec wants the judge to review the grand jury indictment to assess whether there was probable cause to charge him with all 11 counts including manslaughter and negligent homicide.
Elijah McClain, a massage therapist, was remembered as a gentle soul who would use his lunch hour to play violin for shelter animals.
The $15 million is reportedly the largest settlement in Colorado history and one of the biggest in the country.
Through his attorney, Mosley said: “There is no amount of money in the world that will make up for losing my son, but hopefully this sends a message to police everywhere that there are consequences for their actions.”
Rathod added: “Mrs. McClain would give away every cent of that 15 million dollars just for one more day with Elijah.