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Aurora, Colorado, to hire independent police monitor after investigation into Elijah McClain's death

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 18.7%. 2 min read.

Officials in Aurora, Colorado, said Tuesday that an independent monitor will be set up to scrutinize police discipline and transparency after an investigation triggered by the in-custody death of Elijah McClain found a failed system of accountability.

(CNN)Officials in Aurora, Colorado, said Tuesday that an independent monitor will be set up to scrutinize police discipline and transparency after an investigation triggered by the in-custody death of Elijah McClain found a failed system of accountability.

McClain died in August 2019, three days after he was stopped by Aurora police, put in a carotid hold, and injected with ketamine.

The report questioned the officers' statements about McClain's "superior strength," criticized emergency medical responders' decision to inject him with the sedative, and admonished the police department for failing to seriously question the officers afterward.

On Monday, Sheneen McClain cried reading the independent investigative report that said Colorado police officers involved in her son's death did not have the legal basis to stop, frisk or restrain him.

The attorneys for McClain's mother released a statement Monday praising the investigative report and slamming the police department's "sham investigation. "

McClain's death days after his interactions with police brought renewed scrutiny of the use of carotid holds and the sedative ketamine during law enforcement stops.

McClain, a massage therapist, musician, and animal lover, was walking home from a convenience store with an iced tea when he was confronted by three Aurora Police officers responding to a call about a person wearing a ski mask.

Next, the three officers decided to frisk McClain for weapons, which is legally allowed only where there is a belief that safety is in danger, the report states.

While on the ground, an officer attempted to apply a carotid hold, which restricts blood flow to the brain, to McClain for an undetermined amount of time, the report states.

The Aurora Fire lieutenant advised the paramedics to draw a dose of ketamine based on an estimate that McClain weighed about 190 pounds, the report states.

"The Aurora Police Department's Major Crime/Homicide Unit investigation of the death of Mr. McClain raised serious concerns for the Panel and revealed significant weaknesses in the Department's accountability systems," the report states.

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