Police officers fired for involvement in Elijah McClain photo scandal

A violinist continues to play music to honour Elijah Mc Clain as Aurora Police fire pepper spray into the crowd behind him during a vigil in Aurora Colorado

The officer who reenacted the chokehold in the photos resigned this week.

Wilson said photographs taken by the officers showed them smiling at McClain's memorial.

The photographs were taken on October 20, 2019, about two months after McClain perished.

"I have made the hard decision to resign my position as an Officer with the Aurora Police Department, for personal reasons, effective June 30th 2020", Jones wrote in a letter dated Tuesday. Both men joined the APD in 2016. They understand duty and they understand honor.

Police stopped McClain as he walked down the street in a ski mask last August for "being suspicious". McClain suffered a heart attack while being transported to a local hospital, where he went into a coma and later died.

Rosenblatt, who was among the officers who subdued McClain, was sacked for responding "HaHa" after receiving the photo, Wilson said. The one where they appear to reenact the chokehold given to McClain was reportedly sent to Rosenblatt to cheer him up. Aurora Officer Jason Rosenblatt tried to use a chokehold on the 23-year-old but couldn't because of his position, so another officer did, a report from prosecutors said.

Mr Rosenblatt responded with a text saying, "Haha".

"He is being fired for his.utter lack of ability to do the right thing here".

Vanessa Wilson, the acting police chief in the Denver suburb of Aurora, where the incident took place, called the images a crime against humanity and decency.

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Wilson apologized to the McClain family and law enforcement agencies across the nation, highlighting how one officer came forward with the photographs. And that is not acceptable.

"We were like, "Oh he is not going to recognize where it was" and then we saw like the lights of the memorial and so we turned around and we had it like the far distant", Marrero said, according to the investigation documents. "That needs to stop today".

The photo can be viewed at the top of this article. Demonstrators are demanding fundamental reforms to the department. "Do not", said family friend Candice Bailey at a small rally earlier in the day.

Following the photo being reported to the Aurora Police Department, three officers, including Jones, were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The union for officers said on Facebook that the investigation took nine days, while a standard internal affairs case takes months. This case took 9 days. "All of the officers involved were ordered to give interview on very short notice, without proper preparation, outside of their normal work hours, had their phones confiscated and downloaded", the association said in a statement.

McClain's death got new attention following nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice. "We must ensure that we have the answers our community needs, city leadership needs, and most importantly, Elijah's family deserves".

Wilson asserted the the Aurora police department has gone through a culture "reset" in the ten months since McClain's death, and pointed to the terminations as an example of that.

Neither the officers in that incident - Nathan Woodyard, Randy Roedema and Rosenblatt - nor the medics were criminally charged after an investigation by District Attorney Dave Thomas last fall.

If any officer disagrees with the decision to fire the officers, she added, she will gladly accept their resignations.

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