Colorado Governor Jared Polis has announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the death of Elijah McClain, whose mother said in an interview this week that her son was "murdered" by "bullies with badges."
Polis made the announcement on Thursday, just as the August 2019 instance of fatal police brutality received mainstream attention, with millions signing a petition demanding justice.
"Elijah McClain should be alive today, and we owe it to his family to take this step and elevate the pursuit of justice in his name to a statewide concern," Polis, who recently spoke with Elijah's mother Sheneen McClain, said on Thursday. "Now more than ever, we must do everything within our power to foster public trust and confidence in law enforcement and the criminal justice system."
Speaking with CBS News, Sheneen McClain remembered her son—who died at 23 last August after the actions of violent police in Aurora—as a person who aimed to "heal" himself and those around him.
"He was able to accept love and give love in varying forms," she said, adding that cops "murdered him."
The officers who confronted Elijah McClain on Aug. 24 were Nathan Woodyard, Randy Roedema, and Jason Rosenblatt. After actions from the police, including the use of a carotid hold, as well as paramedics injection of ketamine, Elijah went into cardiac arrest while being transported to a hospital. Days later, he was taken off life support.
The case has received a renewed interest from activists and other social justice supporters amid protests that called attention to the inherent oppression of law enforcement following the murder of George Floyd.