Cops and EMTs Plead Not Guilty to Charges of Black Man’s Death in US

Former police officers Charged with Manslaughter in connection to death of Elijah McClain

Elijah McClain, a 23 year old man from Aurora, Colorado, died in August of 2019 after being injected with a sedative by paramedics and strangled by police.

The incident occured after police had been called regarding someone walking in a mask “with a strange attitude”. According to the police, Mr McClain had attempted to reach for an officer’s gun and was unarmed at the time. His family contended he was out to buy iced tea and wore the mask due to a condition of anemia.

His death did not initially receive much attention, until a year later when the murder of George Floyd stirred protests against police brutality towards minorities, especially black Americans. Public pressure, including celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, led Colorado’s attorney general to investigate the incident and eventually charge all the implicated officers, paramedics and former officers, with 32 counts each, including manslaughter and negligent homicide.

On Friday, all five pleaded not guilty when they appeared in court in Adams County, according to the Denver Post. Officer Nathan Woodyard, who strangled Mr McClain, is scheduled to appear in court September 18. The other two officers will be tried together, as of July 11, while the paramedics will follow on August 7.

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