The general public is excluded from the foyer of Aurora Police Headquarters as a former officer appeals a photograph of Elijah McClain

The lobby of the Aurora Police Department headquarters closed just before midnight Thursday when a former officer involved in the violent arrest of Elijah McClain appealed his dismissal over a photo mocking the 23-year-old’s death seemed.

The public is not admitted to the appeal. An immediate decision is not expected and a decision could take weeks, police said.

“It is being closed out of caution as there may be protests in connection with the Aurora Civil Service Commission hearing on Friday,” said Aurora police spokeswoman Crystal K. McCoy. “Former officer Jason Rosenblatt appealed his dismissal.”

Three Aurora cops were fired in July 2020 for a photo of cops Erica Marrero, Jaron Jones and Kyle Dittrich reenacting a chokehold like the one used for McClain near a memorial. Rosenblatt, who was not in the photo, received the picture via text and answered according to the department “ha ha”.

Dittrich, Marrero and Rosenblatt were fired and Jones resigned.

Rosenblatt was among the officers arresting McClain in 2019 while the 23-year-old was walking down an Aurora Street. The officers put McClain in a stranglehold and paramedics injected him with the heavy sedative ketamine. McClain went into cardiac arrest when he was rushed to the hospital, and he died a few days later.

Prosecutors declined to indict anyone involved in McClain’s death, and Governor Jared Polis appointed Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser to investigate last summer. Weiser announced in early January that he would initiate a grand jury investigation into McClain’s death.

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