Elijah McClain: Petition seeking justice for black man in ski mask who died due to chokehold gets 1.6M signatures
George Floyd's tragic death has sparked a massive protest all across the United States. As more people are raising their voice against police brutality, pictures and videos of a 23-year-old man named Elijah McClain have surfaced and people are calling for justice with the hashtag #JusticeForElijahMcClain.
A petition on Change.org was started to call for justice and it has already over 16,78,726 signatures to soon reach its goal of 30,00,000 signatures. On August 24, 2019, McClain was walking home after buying some tea at a local convenience store. According to Elijah's family, Elijah, who was anemic, preferred to wear a ski mask to keep his face warm while he was walking. The Aurora Police Department received a call of a "suspicious man". This call resulted in Elijah's death, the petition reads.
After the McClain family requested the bodycam footage from the officers, this was noted: "He is laying on the ground vomiting, he is begging, he is saying, 'I can't breathe.' One of the officers says, 'Don't move again. If you move again, I'm calling in a dog to bite you.'" The petition quotes Mari Newman, Lane & Newman LLP attorney and it further reads, "When the paramedics arrived they administered a dose of Ketamine to the already unconscious Elijah to 'sedate' him."
“There was a physical struggle,” former APD Chief Nick Metz said in October. “When (police) saw (McClain), they told him to stop. He wouldn’t stop. Again, he was wearing a ski mask, it’s 10:30 p.m. at night in a residential area, so obviously that creates some concern.”
The young man died on August 27, 2019, at 23, after he suffered a fatal heart attack amid a shocking encounter with Aurora police officers and the cause of his death was "undetermined." 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 petition also stresses on the fact that "the officers on the scene were placed on temporary leave, however, they are back in the field with no charges."
People are now demanding an in-depth investigation and saying that the officers should be taken off duty. People on Twitter are expressing their rage with the hashtag #JusticeForElijahMcClain and posting his old videos. "Elijah McClain was killed for wearing a ski mask because he’s anemic. never stop fighting for him. never stop fighting for everyone who has had to suffer this injustice. #JusticeForElijahMcClain," one tweet said and another read, "This young man, Elijah Mclain, was another victim of police brutality, and his murderers are still roaming around, free as can be."
Another one posted, "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'." And one wrote, "I never heard of this story... He didn't even have the chance to really live a full life. Young man volunteeed his time playing violin for Kittens.. why are all the good ones being taken? Why are the cops killing haphazardly at all?"