Who is Matthew Green? Outrage as cop who threatened Elijah McClain with dog bite rejoins Aurora PD

Who is Matthew Green? Outrage as cop who threatened Elijah McClain with dog bite rejoins Aurora PD
Matthew Green, an officer who threatened Elijah McClain with a dog bite before his death, was reinstated by Aurora PD (screengrab from Aurora PD police body cam video, screenshot 13NewsNow video)

AURORA, COLORADO:  The Aurora Police Department has reinstated a former officer who in 2019 helped restrain Elijah McClain, and threatened to unleash a police dog on the 23-year-old. The Black man died several days later as a result of the incident.

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According to a city spokesperson, Matthew Green applied for reinstatement under interim Aurora Chief Dan Oates. The request was granted by the city’s Civil Service Commission. Green will soon join the patrol ranks with the APD. Green was first hired by the APD in 2009 and left voluntarily in July 2021 to work in law enforcement for Douglas County, APD spokesperson Matthew Longshore said.

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Who is Matthew Green?

An investigation of the McClain arrest found that Matthew Green, who was working as a K-9 officer, threatened to unleash a police dog on McClain during the August 2019 encounter. “Dude, if you keep messing around, I’m going to bring my dog out, and he’s going to bite you,” Green said, according to the body-worn camera footage reviewed as part of the investigation. Green was named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the McClain family against the City of Aurora in 2020. However, he is not one of the officers facing charges in McClain’s death.

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How did Elijah McClain die?

McClain, a 23-year-old Black man, was walking home from a convenience store on August 24 when he was apprehended by Aurora police officers responding to a “suspicious person” call, according to the indictment. 

The indictment said officers pinned McClain to the ground after a brief physical struggle. An officer then applied a carotid hold, which caused McClain to lose consciousness. Eventually, paramedics arrived at the scene. They made the decision to administer a 500 mg dose of Ketamine. An autopsy released later showed McClain’s cause of death was “complications of ketamine administration following forcible restraint."

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Five officers involved in McClain's death plead not guilty

The five Aurora, Colorado first responders, indicted by a state grand jury for the 2019 death of Elijah McClain pleaded not guilty to all charges on January 20 in an Adams County courthouse. 

Aurora Police officers Randy Roedema and Nathan Woodyard, former officer Jason Rosenblatt and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, in September 2021, were each indicted on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide as part of a 32-count indictment. 

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According to NBC News, the five officers will be tried in three separate trials later this year in Adams County District Court. Cooper and Cichuniec will be tried together, as well Roedema and Rosenblatt. Woodyard, who placed McClain in a chokehold, forcing him into unconsciousness, will be tried alone.

The reinstatement of Green has garnered reactions on Twitter. One user said, "Taxpayers will bear the cost once again for someone not fit to serve! How long before he abuses someone else?" Another user said, "@AuroraPD this hiring is disgusting & shows your dept has learned nothing from its murder of Elijah McClain. You’ve again insulted us, citizens, with such a deplorable decision. No wonder you get zero respect. @jaredpolis @pweiser @denverpost @CivilRights." One user said, "Aurora PD is the most violent and out-of-control street gang in the state. It's bananas that me not wanting my tax dollars to support those thugs is considered a radical position." One user said, "Defund the police and have that money channeled into community agencies with proven effectiveness in sorting out criminality from mental health issues. Feed children, and support folks with lots of jobs but can’t afford to house. Also, police unions need to payout when cops lose cases."

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