Aurora group leaders filed a category motion lawsuit Thursday in opposition to the town’s police division and its interim chief, accusing them of unconstitutional therapy whereas breaking apart a protest and violin vigil for Elijah McClain.
The go well with, filed in U.S. District Court docket in Denver, addresses police response to the June 27 protest, when 1000’s gathered exterior the division’s headquarters to rally for justice for McClain. After hours of peaceable protest and marches, police confirmed up in riot gear and clashed with protesters.
“Aurora’s deployment of riot police, who indiscriminately unleashed chemical brokers, projectiles, and batons on peaceable protesters celebrating Elijah’s life and calling for justice at a violin vigil, is a component and parcel of the identical brutality, racism, and disrespect for the Structure that induced them to homicide Elijah,” legal professional Mari Newman stated in an announcement.
The criticism seeks to forestall Aurora police sooner or later from utilizing chemical brokers; capturing projectiles indiscriminately into crowds; require all legislation enforcement officers deployed to protests to have their physique cameras recording always; and permit orders for crowd dispersal solely when there may be imminent hazard to folks, not property.
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Aurora’s interim police Chief Vanessa Wilson final month defended the division’s response, saying it was obligatory to make use of traces of riot police to filter out the protest as a result of some threw rocks and water bottles at police or tried to struggle officers.
Aurora police have come beneath intense scrutiny in recents weeks after McClain’s demise gained renewed consideration following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd in Might.
On August 24, police tried to arrest McClain after being known as for a suspicious individual and used a carotid maintain on the 23-year-old earlier than paramedics injected him with Ketamine, a heavy sedative. He died within the hospital six days later.
Metropolis, state and federal investigations into the arrest and demise are ongoing.