Officers and paramedics charged with 32 counts in Elijah McClain’s death
DENVER (KDVR) – Attorney General Phil Weiser on Wednesday announced 32 charges for the death of Elijah McClain.
The indictment targets Aurora police officers Nathan Woodyard and Randy Roedema, former Aurora police officer Jason Rosenblatt, Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec for their alleged conduct on the night of August 24 2019 which resulted in McClain’s death.
Each of the five accused faces one count of manslaughter and one count of criminally negligent homicide.
Weiser said Officers Rodema and Rosenblatt also face one count of second degree assault with intent to cause bodily harm and caused serious injury to McClain. The two also face a felony count of violence.
In addition to the manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges, Paramedics Cooper and Cichuniec also face one count of second degree assault with intent to cause bodily harm and bodily harm. . As well as one count of assault in the second degree for causing serious bodily harm recklessly using a lethal weapon – ketamine.
Paramedics also face one count of second degree assault for a purpose other than medical or therapeutic treatment that intentionally causes stupor, unconsciousness or other physical or mental impairment or injury to McClain. administering ketamine without consent.
Cooper and Cichuniec also face two counts of violent crimes related to each of the assault charges, Weiser said.
Weiser said his office is filing the indictment in Adams County District Court and that it will be unsealed.
Weiser spoke with McClain’s father LaWayne Mosley on Tuesday. He reportedly cried with joy when he heard that the Colorado attorney general would issue indictments.
“Nothing will bring my son back, but I am grateful that his killers are finally held to account,” said LaWayne Mosley.
“For too long, racist and brutal police officers across the country have acted as if the law did not apply to them. This indictment serves as a powerful reminder to all law enforcement officials that no one is above the law, ”Mosley’s lawyer Mari Newman said.
McClain died in 2019 after an altercation with three police officers and after being sedated with ketamine.
Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order in June 2020, assigning Weiser as special prosecutor to investigate McClain’s death.
He handed in the order months after Dave Young, the former district attorney for the 17e Judicial District, refused to file criminal charges and after local and national protests against McClain’s death were sparked by the murder of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer.
The Colorado attorney general announced that he had handed the McClain case to a grand jury in January 2021.
Investigations “must be deepened. They have to inspire public confidence, ”Polis said at the time. “I have no doubts that the process is in place to do it with a special prosecutor. These are decisions that need to be made well rather than taken too quickly. “
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