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Elijah McClain's final words are synonymous with the tragic case that led to 1 officer's conviction
As the death of Elijah McClain became a rallying point at police reform rallies in Colorado and across the county in 2020, the young man’s final words have become synonymous with the tragic case
BRIGHTON, Colo. (AP) — As the death of Elijah McClain became a rallying point at police reform rallies in Colorado and across the county in 2020, the young man's final words became synonymous with the tragic case.
Prosecutors also played them during a trial for two officers charged in his death that culminated Thursday when jurors convicted one officer of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault and acquitted another.
“I can't breathe,” he said as police pinned him to the ground on a summer night in 2019. "My name is Elijah McClain... “I’m just different! I’m just different. That’s all! That’s all I was doing!”
Here are excerpts from more than three hours of police body camera footage from the encounter with law enforcement and paramedics on Aug. 24, 2019, in the Denver suburb of Aurora. It started after a 911 caller reported that McClain looked “sketchy." After being pinned down and given the sedative ketamine, he died three days later.