Colorado officials finally released updated information related to Elijah McClain’s killing by police in Aug. 2019. Colorado Public Radio reported the autopsy report was changed to death by ketamine. The amended autopsy was released over a year after officials ordered its update.
As amended, the autopsy confirms that Elijah died due to “acute Ketamine administration during violent subdual and restraint by law enforcement and emergency response personnel.”
According to the Associated Press, evidence provided during a closed grand jury in 2021 led to the official change. Officials previously left Elijah’s cause of death as “undetermined,” making it more challenging to hold anyone accountable.
Three years later, Elijah’s case remains unresolved. Charges are still pending for the officers responsible for his death. Colorado Public Radio reported that police officers and first responders were collectively charged with 32 criminal counts, including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and lesser assault charges. An arrangement is scheduled for Nov. 4.
Civil rights groups call on Congress to pause additional police funding
The news comes amid a national push for more funding for police departments. Civil rights groups called on the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against the new legislation.
As previously repoted by NewsOne, over 50 civil rights organizations sent a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, urging the body of Black legislators to withhold support for these bills. According to the group, there have been at least 631 civilian deaths this year.
President Biden and other members of Congress double down on outdated methods of approaching public safety. In a recent Pew Research study, Black adults were split on funding police. But overwhelmingly agreed that the entire criminal legal system needed meaningful reform.
Congress also failed to pass the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act. While advocates say the bill did not go far enough and possibly wouldn’t have prevented its namesake’s death, it was more than nothing. The civil rights groups also urged the Congressional Black Caucus to advocate for evidence-based violence prevention strategies as an alternative to giving police even more money.
“As militarized policing continues to result in the harassment, incarceration, and even murder of Black people, Congress should not pass legislation that would unlock new resources for unaccountable policing practices,” read the letter. “Instead, we ask that Congress pursue a comprehensive and evidence-based legislative package that delivers what our communities are calling for—safety that works for all of us.”