State officials pull former Aurora officer’s peace officer’s license after Elijah McClain convictions

Jury reaches verdict in trial of two Colorado police officers charged in death of Elijah McClain
Jeremy Sparig/for CPR News
At right, former police officer Randy Roedema exits court after the jury’s verdict in the trial of officers charged in the death of Elijah McClain, Thursday, October 12, 2023, at the Adams County Justice Center in Brighton.

State officials on Friday formally revoked former Aurora Police officer Randy Roedema’s license to be a Colorado peace officer as the 41-year-old serves time for criminally negligent homicide and assault for his role in Elijah McClain’s death.

Roedema was found guilty in 2023 by an Adams County jury for his role in violently detaining McClain, an unarmed Black massage therapist, who was walking home from a convenience store. 

McClain died at a hospital a few days after Roedema and two other officers held him to the ground after two carotid holds and ignored McClain’s pleas for help and cries that he couldn’t breathe. Then two paramedics injected him with the powerful sedative ketamine. 

A state judge in January sentenced Roedema to 90 days in jail to be served at the same time he serves 14 months for the third-degree assault conviction. The sentence allows Roedema to work while in jail in a work-release program, which he is participating in now.

Earlier this week, Roedema’s attorneys asked the judge to shift his sentence to at-home detention.

They said in a motion that Roedema’s post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis has been exacerbated while being incarcerated. Roedema was wounded in Iraq and went through 23 reconstructive surgeries. In jail, he is afraid of being attacked and suffers from paranoia and depression, his lawyers said. They also noted Roedema has lost 30 pounds from the stress of it all, according to court filings.

“Roedema’s law enforcement background makes him a target for physical attacks, more so than the average inmate,” the motion, written by his attorney Don Sisson, said. “Unfortunately, due to limited religious services offered, Defendant Roedema has not been able to attend church. This has been a significant hardship at least in part because of Roedema’s deeply held religious faith.”

Assistant Attorney General Jason Slothouber said in a response that Roedema’s sentence to work release was a separate sentence on the third-degree assault conviction and was not imposed as a condition of probation —  which means the Adams County judge doesn’t have any authority over it. 

The judge has not yet ruled on the motion.