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City of Aurora and family of Elijah McClain reach settlement

Colorado police placed Black man Elijah McClain in a chokehold, causing him to die. His family has reached an agreement with the city of Aurora.

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Credit: Michael Förtsch

Colorado police placed Black man Elijah McClain in a chokehold, causing him to die. His family has reached an agreement with the city of Aurora.

A civil rights lawsuit was filed against the government last year over his death in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Ryan Luby, deputy communications director for the City of Aurora, told 9NEWS that the city and opponent reached an agreement Monday (Oct. 18). A settlement agreement in principle was reached over the summer between the City of Aurora and the McClain family to resolve the lawsuit filed after Elijah McClain’s tragic death in August 2019, he said.

Luby continued, “The city is ready to sign the agreement within three weeks of completing a separate but related allocation process to which the city is not a party.” Once these issues have been resolved and the agreement is finalized, the parties cannot discuss settlement terms. The recent telephonic court hearing did not discuss an amount.”

In the immediate aftermath of a violent confrontation with Aurora police officers, McClain went into cardiac arrest on Aug. 27, 2019 and later died after five days. In spite of wearing an anemic mask, the 23-year-old was detained and treated as a “suspicious” person, even though he was wearing a mask.

McClain was choked by the cops in a carotid-chokehold. The officer’s body camera recorded him begging for mercy, saying he could not breathe and that he was non-violent. After they arrived, EMTs gave McClain a shot of 500 milligrams of ketamine, which led to McClain suffering a heart attack in the ambulance. Few days later, the hospital declared him brain dead and turned off his life support.

“There is no way to bring back his beloved son Elijah, but he hopes that the settlement agreement with Aurora, along with the criminal charges filed against the officers and medics who killed him, can help restore a sense of belonging to McClain’s family,” McClain’s attorney Mari Newman told CNN.

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