Aurora city council voted Monday, September 14, to temporarily ban the use of ketamine by city forces until the investigation into Elijah McClain’s death is completed.
The unanimous vote comes after the city public outraged the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died in police custody last August after being injected with the sedative.
According to police reports, paramedics gave McClain 500 milligrams of ketamine at the scene. The paramedics estimated that McClain weighed 220 pounds, when he actually weighed about 140 pounds. After receiving the 500 mg dose, McClain experienced cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and died days later.
Aside from increasing public scrutiny to investigate McClain’s death, the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) also pushed for ketamine to be banned. The CSA urged the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to suspend its ketamine liberation program until the department completes its sedation drug use review.
The Justice for Elijah Movement celebrated this victory. However, they continue to call for action and urge people to contact the Department of Health with concerns about the misuse of ketamine to de-escalate situations.
None of the officers involved were charged with McClain’s death. One of the officers involved in the arrest was released in July after a photo was released of him and two other officers trying to choke McClain.