Yesterday, October 12th, the Colorado jury handed down an unexpected victory in the fight to hold cops accountable for police brutality.
In 2019, before George Floyd, Elijah McClain was attacked by Aurora cops, and subsequently put in a chokehold. Firefighters gave him Ketamine, and he ended up dying.
This man was a very young individual, he was not committing a crime, he had no criminal history, and he was a massage therapist. So getting a conviction in this case at all is a big victory because no one expected it. These officers didn’t have their hands in on the chokehold, they didn’t have their hands in on the Ketamine, and so yes, they were the ones who stopped Elijah McClain, and they took him down relatively quickly, in fact, very quickly, after initiating the stop.
This is a victory. We get a conviction. There’s some semblance of justice for Elijah McClain, but there are three other trials coming down the pike, or I should say three other defendants whose trials are waiting. The two firefighters who administered the Ketamine and then the officer who actually did the choke hold on Elijah McClain.
So if we’re looking at a case where we don’t expect convictions and we get one out of two then certainly those heavier cases, mostly using the same evidence — that bodes well for convictions in that case.
Behind all of that is the fact that Mr. McClain’s mother doesn’t see justice in any of this. There needs to be convictions for everyone who was involved in her son’s murder, in her eyes, and I don’t fault her at all for that. I can’t imagine what that would be like.
A single small victory for a single instance of police brutality is not enough. That is something where we, say good, justice is served. Let’s keep going. We have so much farther to go. We need to fight, to make sure that when cops commit crimes on, citizens, they get charged. We need to fight to make sure that when they’re charged, they get convicted and they get held accountable.
And, really, what we need to do is we need to fight to make sure that these cops stop committing crimes on their citizens to begin with.
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