Elijah McClain’s family reaches settlement with city of Aurora

Elijah McClain. Credit: Mari Newman / CBS

The attorneys for Sheneen McClain, Elijah McClain’s mother, announced the family reached a settlement with the city of Aurora, CBS Denver reports. Elijah McClain died after an altercation with Aurora police officers and Aurora fire paramedics in August of 2019.

McClain was walking home from a convenient store when someone called 911 saying they saw someone acting suspiciously. Police arrived and arrested McClain moments after talking with him. Paramedics injected him with ketamine in order to subdue him.

McClain repeatedly told officers he was on his way home and didn’t mean anyone harm. He was not armed.

McClain didn’t stop when officers told him to, later telling them he had his music on and couldn’t hear them. Officers claim McClain resisted arrest, and that he attempted to take one of their guns. Body camera footage does not capture evidence of McClain reaching for their guns.

McClain suffered a heart event on the way to the hospital and was taken off life support days later.

On Monday, the attorney’s for Elijah’s mother, Sheneen, confirmed they reached an unspecified settlement with the city, “resolving all claims raised in her federal civil rights lawsuit.”

“The court will now determine allocation of the proceeds between Ms. McClain, the parent who raised Elijah McClain by herself, and Lawayne Mosley, the absent biological father,” the attorney added.

The lawyer for LaWayne Mosley, Elijah’s father, released this statement on behalf of Mosley: “Nothing will bring back his son Elijah, who he loved dearly, but he is hopeful that this settlement with Aurora, and the criminal charges against the officers and medics who killed Elijah, will allow his family and the community to begin to heal.”

McClain’s family filed a 106-page lawsuit in U.S. District Court in August of 2020.

The lawsuit stated in part: “Aurora’s brutality denied Elijah almost his entire adult life, a life of bright promise both for him and for the many people with whom he would have shared his light and compassion.”

In September, the Colorado State Attorney General’s office found a pattern of racially biased policing and use of excessive force in Aurora. The attorney general is now recommending changes to polices, training, record keeping and hiring which at an entry level is done by the City’s Civil Service commission.

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