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City of Aurora reaches settlement in principle on lawsuit with Elijah McClain's family

A city spokesperson said city leaders are prepared to sign the agreement.

AURORA, Colo. — The City of Aurora has reached a settlement agreement in principle with the family of Elijah McClain over a lawsuit that the family filed last year.

The family filed the civil rights lawsuit in August 2020 in in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Ryan Luby, deputy director of communications for the City of Aurora, said on Monday that the city and family had reached an agreement.

"The City of Aurora and the family of Elijah McClain reached a settlement agreement in principle over the summer to resolve the lawsuit filed after his tragic death in August 2019," he said in a statement provided to 9NEWS.

"City leaders are prepared to sign the agreement as soon as the family members complete a separate but related allocation process to which the city is not a party," Luby said. "Until those issues are resolved and the agreement is in its final form, the parties cannot disclose the settlement terms. No amount was discussed in the recent telephonic court hearing."

RELATED: Family of Elijah McClain files lawsuit against Aurora

Qusair Mohamedbhai, the attorney for Sheneen McClain, Elijah's mother, also confirmed that a settlement in principle has been reached, "resolving all claims raised in her federal civil rights lawsuit." 

Mohamedbhai said the court will determine the allocation of proceeds between Elijah McClain's parents.

McClain died on Aug. 27, 2019 – five days after he went into cardiac arrest following a confrontation with Aurora officers. He was detained after a report of a “suspicious person” in the area. McClain’s family said he had walked to the store to get iced tea and was wearing a ski mask because he was anemic.

Officers used a carotid hold on McClain and first responders later gave him ketamine, a sedative. He went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

RELATED: Aurora files motion to dismiss Elijah McClain lawsuit

The defendants in the lawsuit include the City of Aurora and about a dozen police and fire employees. In November 2020, the defendants called McClain's death a tragedy and denied any wrongdoing in the events that led to his death.

A statewide grand jury returned a 32-count indictment against five people in McClain's death in September.

RELATED: Grand jury returns 32-count indictment in Elijah McClain case

This story includes previous reporting by Bobbi Sheldon, Janet Oravetz and Dacia Johnson.

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