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Law&Crime Host Shares Poignant Story After Watching Disturbing Police Encounter With Black Man

There’s renewed calls for an investigation after no officials in Aurora, Colorado were charged in the death of 23-year-old message therapist Elijah McClain. Footage shows the disturbing encounter with police. He told cops he couldn’t breathe.

“I’m just different,” he said, pleading with officers, and denying any wrongdoing. “I don’t even kill flies.”

Authorities said fire officials administered ketamine (a sedative). A short time later, McClain ended up brain dead after cardiac arrest, and was later taken off life support.

Elijah McClain

The incident, and the disturbing footage left Law&Crime Network host Brian Buckmire at a loss.

“Last night, my brother, who is 20 years old–I literally have a tattoo across my wrist that says, ‘I am my brother’s keeper,'” said Buckmire, who is a public defender in Brooklyn. “And he comes to me, and he says, ‘Brian, you’re my older brother. You’re a lawyer. You’re on these TV shows. How do I not become a hashtag?’ And I don’t even have the answers for him. So it becomes a situation that is like you can’t even say, ‘Do this, and do this, and you’ll be okay.’ Because you watch this, and there’s no answer.”

“[McClain] is saying to the officers what every black family in America tells our children when they leave the house,” Louis L. Reed, National Organizer for #Cut50, an organization working to reduce crime and incarceration nationwide, said. “Any time you are accosted by law enforcement, be polite, be respectful, give them your name, don’t make any sudden movements, make sure that your hands are visible at all times. Even if there’s an inference that he was on the spectrum, his spider senses as a Black man in America kicked in, where he went through that mental checklist, even while he was subdued on the ground, gasping for air–as we saw in George Floyd’s situation–He is still trying to maintain a level of respect.”

McClain died after a tragic encounter with police on August 24, 2019. According to Aurora officers at the time, they got a call about a “suspicious person” walking down Billings Street near East Colfax Avenue. The individual was wearing a ski mask and waving at the caller, cops said.

Police claim they encountered a man wearing a ski mask, and he wouldn’t stop walking down the street. From officers:

The male resisted contact, a struggle ensued, and he was taken into custody. Due to the level of physical force applied while restraining the subject and his agitated mental state, officers requested Aurora Fire Rescue (AFR) and Falck Ambulance respond to render professional medical attention.

The sedative ketamine was administered. From police:

According to AFR, consistent with their accepted protocol, a standard medication routinely utilized to reduce agitation was administered and reduced the exhibited anxiety.

McClain eventually began suffering cardiac arrest. According to police, they administered lifesaving measures. He got his pulse back, and was getting treated at a hospital. But he ended up brain dead, and he was taken off life support. McClain’s family blame authorities for his condition.

“This was a case of police brutality of someone so sweet,” little sister Samara McClain said while her brother was still alive but under treatment, according to The Denver Post. “He doesn’t deserve this. He shouldn’t be in a hospital.”

Sister Naomi McClain told Denver7 that her brother was wearing a ski mask because he had anemia, and he would get cold.

[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]

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