On Monday, Aurora police officer Nathan Woodyard was found not guilty of all charges in the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain.
Woodyard had pleaded not guilty to reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide after the 2019 arrest of McClain as he was walking home from the grocery store.
As seen on the body camera footage, multiple police officers wrestled McClain to the ground and put him in a carotid hold before the paramedics injected him with ketamine. He would go into cardiac arrest and passed away three days later.
Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General said in a statement, “Today’s verdict is not the one we hoped for, but we respect the jury system and accept this outcome. I thank the jurors for serving and performing their civic duty.”
He added, “We remain undeterred in our pursuit of accountability and justice for Elijah McClain and his family and friends. I’m thinking of Sheneen McClain, who has fought hard to keep her son’s memory alive. No mother should go through what she has.”
Sheneen McClain, Elijah’s mother, shared her sentiments about the verdict. “It’s just unfortunate that the people that stopped my son brutalized my son, tortured my son, get away with murder, and their passing on what they did to the medical professionals that still were supposed to do their job,” she said. “Nobody did. So it’s just unfortunate that they are placing the blame and passing the buck.”