Aurora Police were charged by the federal government last month over responding to Elijah McClain’s rally
Aurora community leaders filed a class action lawsuit against the city’s police department and its interim chief on Thursday, accusing them of unconstitutional treatment while breaking off a protest and vigil for Elijah McClain.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Denver, deals with the police’s response to the June 27 protest, when thousands gathered outside the department headquarters to stand up for the justice of McClain. After hours of peaceful protests and marches, the police turned up in riot gear and clashed with protesters.
“Aurora’s use of riot police to indiscriminately unleash chemical agents, projectiles and batons on peaceful protesters celebrating Elijah’s life and demanding justice at a violin guard is part of the same brutality, racism and constitutional disregard that caused them to assassinate Elijah” Lawyer Mari Newman said in a statement.
The purpose of the complaint is to prevent Aurora police from using chemical agents in the future. shoot projectiles indiscriminately into the crowd; – requiring all law enforcement officers deployed to protest to have their body cameras recorded at all times; and permit orders to disperse the crowd only when there is immediate danger to people and not to property.
Aurora’s interim police chief Vanessa Wilson defended the department’s response last month, saying it was necessary to use riot lines to dispel the protest because some stones and water bottles were thrown at the police or they tried to fight officers.
Aurora police have come under intense scrutiny in the past few weeks after McClain’s death was reconsidered following the May police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
On August 24, police attempted to arrest McClain after being called about a suspect and used a carotid grip on the 23-year-old before paramedics injected him with ketamine, a heavy sedative. He died in the hospital six days later.
City, state, and federal investigations into arrest and death continue.