Elijah McClain: Third cop found not guilty in killing of 23-year-old
Aurora, Colorado - A white Colorado cop was found not guilty Monday in the killing of Elijah McClain, a Black man who was put in a chokehold and injected with ketamine during his arrest.
The jury cleared police officer Nathan Woodyard of reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the case that sparked outrage in August 2019.
The not guilty verdict came less than a month after a jury convicted fellow officer Randy Roedema of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault and acquitted Jason Rosenblatt.
Roedema is due to be sentenced in January.
McClain died several days after a struggle with police, and after being injected with ketamine by attending paramedics. The case prompted an online petition calling for justice when the details came to light.
Police had responded to a call about a "suspicious" Black male "acting weird" in the street and wearing a ski mask.
One officer said McClain, who was unarmed, had reached for another officer's gun. No evidence was produced to support this claim.
McClain's family told media he had been out buying iced tea, and often wore the mask to stay warm because he suffered from anemia.
The 23-year-old's death occurred months before the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020, triggered a nationwide reckoning over racism and police brutality.
The responding paramedics – Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper – are set for trial in the coming weeks, CNN reported.
Cover photo: Rich Fury / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP