AURORA, Colo — A federal court has refused to halt the discovery of evidence in the civil lawsuit against Aurora for the death of Elijah McClain, even though the state attorney general has opened a grand jury investigation into the matter.
“The plaintiffs here are family members of a dead young man. Elijah McClain’s family deserves answers to the questions of why he died and whether anyone or any entity is to be held to account,” wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter in a Jan. 29 order.
The federal complaint against the city and its employees who interacted with McClain prior to his 2019 death, including more than a dozen police officers and medical personnel, alleges that negligence, excessive force, and failure to intervene amounted to murder. McClain, 23, was walking home at night on Aug. 24, 2019, when Aurora Police Department officers forcibly restrained him using a chokehold and Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics involuntarily injected him with “a massive dose of ketamine,” according to the amended complaint.
McClain, who was unarmed and not suspected of a crime, lost consciousness and died less than a week later. The district attorney at the time declined to criminally charge anyone, but following racial justice protests in the summer of last year, Gov. Jared Polis assigned Attorney General Phil Weiser the task of investigating McClain’s death.
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