On Thursday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the 2019 death of an unarmed Black man who died days after he was subdued by three policemen and injected with a powerful sedative. The state’s attorney general, Phil Weiser, will probe the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain, who died following an encounter with police who applied a chokehold on him. During the incident, paramedics injected him with ketamine and he lapsed into a coma from which he never recovered.
Back in November, Adams County District Attorney Dave Young said there was insufficient evidence for him to charge the officers with any crimes. Young said that McClain was approached by officers on reports of a man acting erratically in the city of Aurora on Aug. 24, 2019, although he was not suspected of committing a crime.
On Thursday, Young said McClain’s death was “tragic and unnecessary,” but defended his decision not to prosecute the officers. An autopsy said the cause of death was undetermined and the pathologist was unable to conclude the officers’ actions caused the death.
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