Elijah McClain’s Family to Receive $15 Million Settlement from the City of Aurora

The family initially filed a suit in August 2020 and accused police officers, a fire department medical director, and others of violating Elijah’s civil rights.

Memorial near where Elijah McClain was forcibly restrained by Aurora police

Image via Getty/Michael Ciaglo

Memorial near where Elijah McClain was forcibly restrained by Aurora police

The family of Elijah McClain will see $15 million from the city of Aurora, Colorado as it settles the federal civil rights lawsuit over the 23-year-old’s 2019 death at the hands of local authorities. 

The agreement, which is the largest in the city’s history and one of the largest ever in the U.S., was reached on Friday, according to KUSA.

An attorney for Elijah McClain's mother, Sheneen, confirmed to me a $15-million settlement with the city of Aurora.

The settlement, already agreed to in principle by the city, ends the wrongful death lawsuit.

That's according to Siddhartha Rathod, an attorney for Sheneen.

— Michael de Yoanna (@mdy1) November 19, 2021

“No amount of money will ever bring Elijah back to his mother,” said law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai, which is representing Sheneen McClain. “Ms. McClain would return every cent for just one more day with her son.”

Similarly, Elijah’s father LeWayne Mosley said in a statement that the money would not make up for his loss, but “hopefully this sends a message to police everywhere that there are consequences for their actions.”

An allocation hearing will determine how much of the money goes to each of Elijah’s parents. The family initially filed the suit in August 2020 and accused police officers, two paramedics and a fire department medical director of violating Elijah’s civil rights. It was filed a year after McClain was detained, put in a chokehold, handcuffed, and injected with ketamine—according to an investigation by the city—before dying days later on Aug. 30. 

“In a span of eighteen minutes, defendants subjected Elijah to a procession of needless and brutal force techniques and unnecessary, recklessly administered medication, the combined effects of which he could not survive,” the lawsuit said.

An independent investigation later found that “none of the officers articulated a crime that they thought Mr. McClain had committed, was committing or was about to commit.”

As it stands, according to NBC News, the city will make its payment to the court’s registry when the family removes defendants from the lawsuit. The money will then be held until the allocation hearing. 

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