Sheneen McClain, the mother of Elijah McClain, had some poignant words for the world after the split verdict came down for Aurora police officers in the death of her son.
On Thursday, a Colorado jury reached a split decision on the death of Elijah McClain. According to CBS News, Randy Roedema was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault. Jason Rosenblatt, the fired officer involved in McClain’s death, was found not guilty of manslaughter and assault.
Elijah McClain, an unarmed Black pedestrian, died Aug. 24, 2019, after paramedics pumped powerful drugs into his body following the racial profiling and arrest by Aurora officers.
McClain was on his way home from a gas station where he bought four cans of Brisk tea when he encountered officers. They stopped him after receiving calls of a “suspicious man.”
Soon, the situation escalated and they put McClain, a Denver native and massage therapist in Aurora, in a chokehold and forced him to the ground for 15 minutes. He eventually started vomiting and complaining that he couldn’t breathe.
McClain’s mother Sheneen, who sued the city of Aurora and won a $15 million settlement, had some emotional words for the public after the verdict.
“This is America and it was never great to the nations of people that were captured, enslaved, raped, and murdered for their lands or their labor,” Sheneen McClain told Denver7 in a statement following the verdict. “America needs to start telling the truth about its history and changing the way it treats all the people that pay into its systems of control. America is divided in so many ways, on so many levels, and in so many areas of understanding.”
Sheneen continued, “If America ever wants to be great, then it has to enforce equity as well as equality that is represented in every law and seat that every citizen is governed by. Don’t say sorry to me for humans that fail even their own kind. My soul still cries out for Divine Justice For My Son Elijah McClain.”
Jury selection in the second trial in the death of Elijah McClain has started this week as Nathan Woodyard, who was the first Aurora officer to confront McClain will finally stand trial for his role in Elijah’s death.
Woodyard faces a charge of reckless manslaughter after grabbing McClain within seconds of ordering him to stop, then holding him before other officers helped him overpower the Black man.
Two paramedics were also changed and will go to trial at a later date.
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