Colorado’s Health Department recently launched an investigation in connection with the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. The 23-year-old Black man died in police custody after paramedics administered a powerful anesthetic during his confrontation with the police. The Department of Public Health and Environment, that certifies emergency medical responders, said in a statement that it is investigating “numerous complaints” that provided new information “regarding a ketamine administration in August 2019.”
On August 24, 2019, 23-year-old McClain wore a face mask and walked home from a convenience store. Despite admitting that they didn’t think he posed any threat, someone called the police on him because he looked “suspicious”. Soon three police officials from Aurora Police Department violently approached McClain. According to the district attorney, McClain begged the officers, saying, “Let me go, no, let me go, I am an introvert, please respect my boundaries that I am speaking,” as they arrested him and later put him in a chokehold.
When McClain fainted, the police called an ambulance and a medic injected McClain with ketamine. The quantity of ketamine used was enough to sedate someone at least twice his weight. After this, medics noticed that his “chest was not rising on his own and he did not have a pulse”. Tragically McClain was declared brain dead after three days. Criminal charges were never filed against the officers and they were not even fired.
Now, after a year, celebrities around the country have come together and demanded justice in the case. The Justice for Elijah McClain campaign released a video on their official Instagram handle and tagged several delegates who were looking into the case, including Attorney General Phil Weiser, Representative Mike Coffman, Governor Jared Polis and Aurora Government’s account.
The 5.29 minute-long video featured several celebrities, including Janelle Monae, Cassie, Ben Platt, Tobe Nwigwe, Beanie Feldstein, Brandon Marshall, Meagan Good, Palmer Williams Jr, Tess Holliday, Busy Philipps, Rumer Willis, Jannah Handy and Virgil Abloh.
The video starts with the title Justice for Elijah McClain where celebrities called out the delegates by their name and said, that they’ve been ignoring people’s calls and now “THEY” want to speak to them. In the video, they narrated the story of Elijah and what happened on August 24. It was also revealed that Elijah was pleading in front of the officers on the day of his death. He even started vomiting because the officers exerted so much force on his chest and neck. Describing the horrific incident, actress Meagan Good said that he died of a heart attack while he was taken to the hospital.
Actress Beanie Feldstein said that since the incident happened, many officers went back to the site and mocked his death by sharing photos where they are smiling and putting another officer on chokehold as a joke. The celebrities requested the delegates to bring justice to the case by saying, “City Attorney Daniel Brotzman bring justice and fire those who are responsible” and “Attorney General Phil Weiser FILE criminal charges”. The video ends with celebrities saying “TIME IS UP” and “ACT NOW”.