(NEW YORK) — The Adams County Coroner’s Office in Colorado is set to release Elijah McClain’s amended autopsy report after several news organizations sued for its release on Friday.
The report was amended based on confidential grand jury information, according to the chief coroner for Adams County.
The release comes before the arraignment of five former Aurora police officers and paramedics in McClain’s 2019 death.
McClain, a Black 23-year-old massage therapist, died following an encounter with police in August 2019 while he was walking home from a convenience store.
A passerby had called 911 to report McClain was acting “sketchy” since he was wearing a ski mask on a warm night. The lawyer for the McClain family attributed this to the fact that McClain was anemic, which made him feel cold more easily.
Aurora police officers responded to the scene and confronted McClain. An officer can be heard saying in body camera footage that they put him into a carotid chokehold, which restricts the carotid artery and cuts off blood to the brain, according to the Department of Justice. McClain can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe,” in police body camera footage.
Paramedics arrived, giving McClain an “excessive” dose of ketamine, according to McCain’s lawyer, and McClain suffered from cardiac arrest shortly after in an ambulance, according to officials. McClain was pronounced dead three days later.
Former Aurora Police Officers Jason Rosenblatt, Nathan Woodyard and Randy Roedema as well as paramedics Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper were charged with 32 criminal counts, including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and assault charges.
Their arraignment is set for November.
CPR News filed a lawsuit against the Adams County Coroner’s Office on Sept. 1, arguing for the autopsy report to be released. Several other local news organizations joined the effort after open records requests to obtain the report were denied.
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