As a jury in Adams County deliberates whether to convict paramedics charged in her son’s death, Sheneen McClain remains frustrated and is ready to “put some boxing gloves on.”
Much of the defense’s position throughout the trial was that the two Aurora Fire Rescue paramedic defendants, Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper, were following protocol to treat Elijah McClain, an innocent, Black massage therapist who they claim had “excited delirium.”
There was no evidence McClain ever had that disorder, and police officers didn’t suggest he did to Cichuniec and Cooper until after they decided to give him ketamine, a sedative approved to treat it, according to body-worn cameras shown in court.
The paramedics gave McClain, who was 143 pounds, a dose of ketamine meant for a 200 to 225-pound person, according to prosecutors. He had already been given two carotid holds by police officers and was vomiting repeatedly both into a mask, at first, but then on the grass, while handcuffed.
McClain’s pulse stopped in the ambulance a few minutes after the ketamine was given and he never regained consciousness. He died a few days later in the hospital.
She still hopes there is some accountability for Cichuniec and Cooper, but she is disappointed in the results of the first two trials of three Aurora police officers who violently detained McClain on Aug 24, 2019. Two of the three were acquitted of reckless manslaughter and assault.
Another, Randy Roedema, was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, a low-level felony, and will be sentenced Jan. 5.
As everyone awaits the paramedics’ verdict, Sheneen McClain is disgusted how much they clung to protocols to justify their actions.
“They can not blame their job training for their indifference to evil or their participation in an evil action … that is completely on them,” she said. “May all their souls rot in hell when their time comes.”
McClain awaits the verdict in the hallway just a few feet from the courtroom, along with community advocates.
- ‘Elijah Is Touching Hearts Everywhere’: Sheneen McClain On Her Son Inspiring Police Reform
- ‘They ignore their own humanity’: Elijah McClain’s mother reflects on split verdict in first of three trials and sharing a courtroom with those responsible for her son’s death
- Elijah McClain’s mother feels like justice has not been served
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