BLACK LIves Matter advocates are calling for the arrest of Colorado police officers who put 23-year-old Elijah McClain in a chokehold last year.
McClain suffered a fatal heart attack as a result of the Aurora encounter.
He was pronounced dead on August 27, 2019.
Who is Elijah McClain?
Elijah McClain was a young Black man who grew up in Aurora, Colorado.
He was put in a chokehold by authorities and suffered a heart attack as a result of the encounter last year.
His death was similar to that of George Floyd, who prosecutors say was suffocated by a Minneapolis police offer on Memorial Day.
McClain's case has not received extensive media coverage but the Black Lives Matter movement is demanding justice.
The hashtag #JusticeforElijahMcClain is circulating on Twitter, calling for a re-investigation into the case.
According to Twitter, McClain was a soft, introverted soul who "played violin for kittens."
What happened to McClain in August 2019?
Elijah McClain was walking home from a local convenience store on August 23rd, 2019 after picking up some tea.
According to McClain's family, the 23-year-old was anemic and preferred to wear a ski mask to keep his face warm while he was walking.
The Aurora Police Department received a call from a civilian about a "suspicious man" walking around.
911 dispatched police officers who placed McClain in a chokehold upon their arrival to the scene.
According to reports, McClain repeatedly said he could not breathe, much like the George Floyd case.
In bodycam footage obtained by McClain's family, an officer reportedly threatens him for struggling.
"He is laying on the ground vomiting, he is begging, he is saying, 'I can't breathe,'" described Mari Newman, the McClain family lawyer.
"One of the officers says, 'Don't move again. If you move again, I'm calling in a dog to bite you.'"
Twitter users claim Elijah's last words were: "I’m an introvert. I’m just different that’s all. I’m so sorry. I don’t have a gun. I don’t do that stuff."
"All I was trying to do was become better. I’ll do it…You all are phenomenal.
"You are beautiful. And I love you. Try to forgive me. I’m sorry."
When paramedics arrived, they reportedly administered a dose of ketamine to "sedate" McClain and calm his anxiety.
The drug caused the young man to go into cardiac arrest on his way to the hospital.
He fell into a coma, and three days later, he was pronounced dead.
At the time of McClain's death, Denver 7 News stated, "…they couldn’t determine whether McClain's death was an accident, was due to natural causes, or is a homicide related to the police department's use of a carotid hold."
The officers on the scene were placed on temporary leave.
They are back in the field with no charges.
How do I sign the ‘Justice for Elijah McClain’ petition?
There is currently a petition circulating on Change.org demanding that the officers involved in Elijah's death be taken off duty and that the investigation be re-opened.
The petition has currently garnered 1.8million signatures and is calling for 3million in total.
You can sign the Justice for Elijah McClain petition here.
What is Black Lives Matter and how can I help?
Black Lives Matter is a movement fighting police brutality and racial injustice in the US.
The organization launched after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012 – and George Zimmerman's subsequent acquittal.
Over the years, it has championed equal rights for African Americans, particularly in the justice system.
The movement recently resurged after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota.
Donald Trump called the group "divisive" when he was running for president in 2016.
There are a number of organizations you can support to aide the Black Lives Matter movement.
You can donate straight to Black Lives Matter on the BLM website – but there are other causes that help fight the injustice.
A GoFundMe page for Floyd has already raised a staggering $9million.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund fights back against the state's "unfair" bail system.
The Bail Project helps people post bail who cannot afford it.
Black Visions Collective believes in a future "where all Black people have autonomy, safety is community-led, and we are in right relationship within our ecosystems."
Donations to Reclaim the Block will help keep communities in Minneapolis safe.
The Atlanta Solidarity Fund helps people who get arrested during protests.
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