One of the white police officers on trial for the death of Elijah McClain, a black youth who was strangled and injected with ketamine during his arrest, was acquitted by a Colorado state court on Monday.
A jury acquitted Aurora police officer Nathan Woodyard of manslaughter in the case, which dates back to 2019.
The policeman is accused of strangling Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man whose death, despite passing under the radar of the American media, attracted much more attention after the killing of George Floyd, another African-American, in 2020.
The timeline of the case
In early October, another police officer involved in the death of Elijah McClain was found guilty of manslaughter and is expected to be sentenced in January.
The young man died of a heart attack three days after his arrest, during which he was injected with ketamine – a powerful sedative – by paramedics.
On the day of the incident, police were called by a person who described a “suspicious” black man wearing a ski mask and “acting strangely” on a street in Aurora.
A police officer said Elijah McClain, who was not carrying a gun, tried to grab his gun during the arrest.
According to the victim’s family, the young man had simply gone out to buy refreshments and often wore a ski mask to keep from catching a cold, as he suffered from anaemia.
The two paramedics involved in the case will be tried separately in the coming weeks, according to CNN.
According to ifimerida, the case was initially dropped without further action, but Colorado Governor Jared Polis requested that investigations be reopened in June 2020 after meeting with the family of the deceased. A petition to reopen Elijah McClain’s case had gathered more than three million signatures.