Elijah McClain died due to sedative, police restraint: Autopsy

by | Sep 23, 2022 | World

A Black man died after a police encounter in the US state of Colorado in 2019 because he was injected with a powerful sedative after being forcibly restrained, according to an amended autopsy report publicly released on Friday.Despite the finding, the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was still listed as undetermined, not a homicide, the report shows.
McClain was put in a neck hold and injected with ketamine after being stopped by police in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, for “being suspicious”. He was unarmed.
The original autopsy report that was written soon after his death in August 2019 did not reach a conclusion about how he died or what type of death it was, such as if it was natural, accidental or a homicide. That was a major reason why prosecutors initially decided not to pursue charges.
But a state grand jury last year indicted three officers and two paramedics on manslaughter and reckless homicide charges in McClain’s death after the case drew renewed attention following the killing of George Floyd in 2020.
It became a rallying cry during the reckoning across the United States over racism and police brutality.
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The five accused have not yet entered pleas and their lawyers have not commented publicly on the charges.
In the updated report, Dr Stephen Cina concluded that the ketamine dosage given to McClain, which was higher than recommended for someone his size, “was too much for this individual and it resulted in an overdose”.
“I believe that Mr McClain would most likely be alive but for the administration of ketamine,” said Cina, who also noted that body camera footage shows McClain becoming “extremely sedated” within a few minutes of being given th …

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