Colorado police and paramedics who stopped and injected Elijah McClain with ketamine made a series of errors that ended in the young man’s 2019 death, findings of an independent investigation reveal.
The police did not have the right or legal basis “to force Elijah McClain to stop walking, to frisk him or to use a chokehold on him, an independent investigation commissioned by the city found.”
Paramedics from Aurora Fire Rescue also did not examine or question McClain before they injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine. And there was not a clear transition of care or command authority from police to fire, the report found.
When he was put in the ambulance, he was not breathing and did not have a pulse. He did not regain consciousness.
McClain was pronounced brain dead on Aug. 27th and taken off life support on Aug. 30th.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice and FBI are conducting a federal civil rights investigation. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is conducting a licensure investigation into the use of ketamine.
Previously, the District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District declined to pursue criminal charges against any public safety personnel involved in the case, and the Adams County coroner ruled the cause of death inconclusive. Aurora does not have authority or control over either office.