Elijah McClain
Called for Help

Elijah McClain

August 24, 2019
Elijah McClain
Elijah McClain

On the evening of August 24, 2019, an Aurora citizen called 9-1-1 when McClain was spotted walking down the street flailing his arms, wearing a and listening to music. Friends of McClain claimed that this "arm flailing" was most likely just him dancing.The same caller affirmed during the call that McClain was unarmed and that he didn't think McClain or anyone else was in danger. According to police, when they confronted McClain he resisted officers and attempted to reach for an officer's gun during the struggle. According to an attorney representing McClain's family, when police arrived, they immediately apprehended and slammed him into a wall.Officers held McClain, weighing 140 pounds, on the ground for 15 minutes. Officer Nathan Woodyard applied a "carotid control hold" around McClain’s neck.Paramedics injected him with 500 mg of ketamine as a sedative to reduce his agitation. McClain vomited several times while being held down. McClain suffered two while he was taken to the hospital, and pronounced brain dead on August 30, 2019.

The body cameras on all three of the police officers fell off of their uniform during the encounter, although the audio can still be heard. During the recording, when one of the body cameras was still attached to an officer, another officer can be heard telling him to move his camera. The attorney representing McClain's family accused the officers of purposely taking off their body cameras to create a false allegation that McClain reached for a gun.

According to a police report, the coroner could not determine the exact cause of death and listed his death as "undetermined". Despite his cause of death being undetermined, the same coroner also suggested in his autopsy report that if it was caused by an idiosyncratic drug reaction. In June 2020, amid nationwide protests and unrest over police brutality, Aurora lawmakers requested a new, third-party investigation into McClain's death.

To Live and Play (for the kittens)

by Charlotte Mountain

I came to play my heart string
And bring my vibrato

I am the couldn’t hurt
A fly I live I live I live
here in my heart and in my head
Because I am  an introvert
So maybe I do not talk
So much or eat meat because

I am the couldn't hurt
A fly I live I live I live
Here in my heart
And in my head sometimes
Music cannot substitute for tears
Fix myself forgive me

I was just going home
Where I live I live I live
And I dream of fixing myself
My name is Elijah McClain
who will dream of me I’m sorry
And who will play for the kittens

Elijah McClain

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