The Usual Suspects— Who Are They?

Yes— it is true, life is not fair. But still we have to analyze and be careful and respectful of our human interactions. The history of Black, Colored or Negro lynchings in the USA, are redressed today because they bear the same victims— African Americans, Blacks, Colored, Negroes (the homeless and destitute included).

Trailing the abuses of power, corruption and history, lynchings today are being conducted in ways that fall under the authoritative powers that lend hand to social profiling, a learned method of behavior that victimizes Blacks and the destitute who do not measure up to the ideal character features, demeanor and/or status symbols, acclaimed by a combination of social and economic powers.

Therefore we have a system of government that deviates from the usage of appropriate, justifiable service of law enforcement. Their abuse of power violates the victim’s rights, protection and stigmatize attitudes within a supposed civilized social order. Social profiling that unjustly depicts Blacks and the destitute, are acts of poor judgement and abuses that contribute to the exacerbation of further lynchings. JonAk

What We Know About the Killing of Elijah McClain
By Claire Lampen

Elijah McClain Photo: Family photo
In August 2019, police officers in Aurora, Colorado, approached 23-year-old Elijah McClain as he walked home from a convenience store. The Aurora Police Department later said that a 911 caller had reported a “suspicious person” in a ski mask, and that when officers confronted McClain — who was not armed and had not committed any kind of crime — he “resisted arrest.” In the 15 minutes that followed, the officers tackled McClain to the ground, put him in a carotid hold, and called first responders, who injected him with ketamine. He had a heart attack on the way to the hospital, and died days later, after he was declared brain dead.

McClain’s family maintains that law enforcement’s use of excessive force led to his death, and roughly a year-and-a-half later, a report commissioned by the Aurora City Council suggests that police lacked the legal grounds to stop McClain and to forcefully detain him. The officers involved in McClain’s death were previously cleared of wrongdoing, apparently on the basis of questionable body-camera footage and an allegedly inconclusive autopsy.

“This case is a textbook example of law enforcement’s disparate and racist treatment of Black men,” McClain’s family members and their legal team said in a joint statement on February 22, per ABC. “Aurora’s continued failure to acknowledge the wrongdoing of its employees only exacerbates the problem.”

Despite local media coverage and some smaller rallies, McClain’s death did not initially receive widespread attention in the press — not until the killing of George Floyd sparked widespread protests against racially motivated police brutality over the summer. Here’s everything we know about Elijah McClain.

McClain was detained on his way home from picking up an iced tea for his brother.

Just after 10:30 p.m. on August 24, 2019, the Aurora Police Department received a call about a “suspicious person” wearing a mask and waving his hands. They dispatched three officers — Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema — who subsequently said McClain “resisted contact” and continued down the street.

According to McClain’s family, the 23-year-old had made a quick trip to the convenience store to pick up an iced tea for his brother. His sister later told a local ABC affiliate, Denver7, that McClain was wearing an open-face ski mask because he “had anemia and would sometimes get cold.” And although he was unarmed, simply walking home and, his sister said, listening to music, police say “a struggle ensued.” One officer accused McClain of reaching for his gun, and one put him in a carotid hold, which involves an officer applying pressure to the side of a person’s neck in order to temporarily cut off blood flow to the brain. “Due to the level of physical force applied while restraining the subject and his agitated mental state,” officers then called Aurora First Responders, who “administered life-saving measures,” according to a local NBC affiliate. Paramedics injected McClain with what they said was a “therapeutic” amount of ketamine to sedate him, while officers held him down.

McClain went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital, and was taken off life support on August 30. His family said at the time that he was brain dead, and covered in bruises.

Body-camera footage of the arrest did not come out for months.

Body-cam footage of the arrest does exist, although the ADP did not release it to the public until late November 2019, months after McClain’s death. In the footage, an officer can be heard admitting McClain had done nothing illegal prior to his arrest; another accuses McClain of reaching for one of their guns. McClain, meanwhile, can be heard asking the officers to stop, explaining that they started to arrest him as he was “stopping [his] music to listen.” He gasps that he cannot breathe. He tells them his name, says he has ID but no gun, and pleads that his house is “right there.” He sobs, and vomits, and apologizes: “I wasn’t trying to do that,” he says. “I just can’t breathe correctly.” One of the officers can also be heard threatening to set his dog on McClain if he “keep[s] messing around,” and claiming he exhibited an extreme show of strength when officers tried to pin back his arms.

Very little of the officers’ protocol can be seen, however, because all of their body cams allegedly fell off during the arrest. But if you watch the video from about the 15-minute mark (warning: it contains violent and upsetting content), you’ll see someone pick up the body camera and point it toward McClain and one of the officers, before dropping it back into the grass. Around 15:34, one of the officers seems to say, “Leave your camera there.”

An autopsy initially listed McClain’s cause of death as “undetermined.”

McClain’s autopsy also raised questions. The Adams County Coroner announced in early November 2019 that it wasn’t clear whether his death had been an accident, or carotid hold–related homicide, or the result of natural causes. The coroner listed McClain’s cause of death as “undetermined,” but points to hemorrhaging in his neck and abrasions on different parts of his body. Noting that “an idiosyncratic drug reaction (an unexpected reaction to a drug even at a therapeutic level) cannot be ruled out” in reference to the ketamine dosage, the report’s wording seemed to pin responsibility on McClain himself.

“The decedent was violently struggling with officers who were attempting to restrain him,” it said, according to Denver 7 ABC. “Most likely the decedent’s physical exertion contributed to death. It is unclear if the officer’s action contributed as well.”

As Mari Newman, an attorney for McClain’s family, said at the time, though, “Whatever the report says, it’s clear that if the police had not attacked Elijah McClain, he would be alive today.”

Other unreasonable stop:

14 thoughts on “The Usual Suspects— Who Are They?

  1. A spokesman for a Victoria British Columbia hospital can be heard saying that 78% of covid patient in his hospital are fully vaccinated and 17% are partially vaccinated. For extra credit, what percent of covid patients in this hospital are unvaccinated?

    78% of people in Victoria BC are fully vaccinated and another 7% are singly vaccinated. 15% are unvaccinated.

    Are vaccinated patients over- or under-represented?

    Liked by 1 person

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