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Prosecutors say Elijah McClain was just walking home as jury urged to convict officers in his death
Prosecutors seeking a conviction of two Colorado police officers in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain have implored a jury during closing arguments to remember that he was just trying to walk home on the night of the fatal encounter
DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors seeking a conviction of two Colorado police officers in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain implored a jury during closing arguments Tuesday to remember that 23-year-old Black man was just trying to walk home the night he was put in a neck hold and and pinned down by the officers before paramedics injected him with a powerful sedative.
Defense attorneys countered that the two officers from a Denver suburb had no choice but to forcefully subdue McClain after he resisted them.
The case now rests in the hands of twelve jurors who will decide whether Aurora officers Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt are guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and second-degree assault — all felonies. An assault conviction carries the most serious penalty, up to 16 years in prison.
“His name was Elijah McClain. He was going home,” prosecutor Duane Lyons told the jury, echoing McClain’s words that were captured on police body camera video. “He was someone who mattered,” Lyons added, as a photo of a smiling McClain was shown in court.