More than 70,000 residents have signed a petition opposing the reinstatement of three officers who posted themselves mocking the death of Elijah McClain. The photos show Kyle Dittrich, Erica Morrera and Jason Rosenblatt reenacting the chokehold that was used on McClain during the police encounter before his death. Making matters worse, the photos were reportedly taken near the site of the police encounter.
After the photos were posted, the three officers were dismissed from the police force. The trio was scheduled to fight off their dismissal in court this month. However, Rosenblatt's termination hearing was pushed back to January. Dittrich and Morrera's hearings have been delayed until the first week of February.
"This is 2020 and they played a commonly known page from Jim Crow. These are supposed to be those that ‘serve and protect’ the most diverse community in Colorado,” petition creator Darlene Jones wrote.
“[McClain] was a son, a brother, a friend and a light in our community. Many of us are still grieving.”
In August 2019, McClain was walking home from a nearby store when a nearby resident called the police about a "suspicious man." At the time, the Aurora resident was wearing a ski mask to keep warm because he was anemic. When officers arrived, they said they told McClain to stop, but he did not. Officers reportedly placed McClain in a chokehold and held on the ground for 15 minutes. As he was held on the ground, he yelled out, "I can't breathe." Soon thereafter, paramedics arrived on the scene and injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine. Subsequently, McClain went into cardiac arrest and then a coma. Days later, McClain was taken off life support and pronounced dead at 23 years old.
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