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Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statement on Gov. Polis Calling on Attorney General to Investigate the 2019 Police Killing of Elijah McClain

The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, today released the following statement after Colorado Governor Jared Polis assigned Attorney General Phil Weiser to reopen and investigate the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year old Black man who was killed by police in August of 2019. 

“Justice for Elijah is long overdue,” said Jamie Logan, volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Reopening this case and calling for a new investigation is a good first step towards getting that justice. Elijah’s family and community deserve a thorough and transparent process.”

Elijah McClain was killed by police in Aurora, Colorado on Aug. 24, 2019 after being held in a chokehold and sedated. The AP reports, “According to police body-camera video, McClain tells officers: ‘Let go of me. I am an introvert. Please respect the boundaries that I am speaking.’”

At the time, the three officers were placed on leave, but were allowed to return to the force when District Attorney Dave Young said there was “insufficient evidence to support charging them.” Governor Polis’ executive order directs Colorado State Attorney General Weiser to investigate McClain’s death and potentially prosecute the three white officers involved.

Black people in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. Black Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans, and 227 people have been killed by police between 2013 and 2019 in Colorado.