The African-American youth was killed last year in August but none of the officers involved have been punished. Authorities in Aurora in the US state of Colorado are looking at ways of launching an inquiry.
Videos of a 23-year-old African-American youth killed by police officers in the US state of Colorado have gone viral in recent weeks, including one depicting the incident that led to his death.
Elijah McClain was known for his good manners, gentle nature, and community spirit before his killing in August 2019.
The young man was heading back from a grocery store where he had bought a bottle of iced tea when a neighbourhood resident called the police warning them of a man acting suspiciously.
McClain was known for his optimistic outlook on life and for breaking into dance in the streets while walking.
Police officers from the Denver suburb of Aurora responded to the call, quickly tackling McClain to the ground and putting him in a stress position.
The video showing McClain’s final moments of consciousness depict him trying to convince the officers that he is not a threat and complaining of the pain they were causing him.
This young man, Elijah Mclain, was another victim of police brutality, and his murderers are still roaming around, free as can be. They are walking around like they did nothing.— Boss N Hug Connection (@ConnectionBoss) June 23, 2020
ARREST THE COPS WHO MURDERED HIM!#ElijahMcClain #JusticeForElijahMcClain pic.twitter.com/D9p8AtiWjT
In a scene that resembles the killings of George Floyd and Eric Garner, McClain is heard pleading “I can’t breathe” before vomiting.
According to his lawyer, officers responded: “I’m calling in a dog to bite you.”
Paramedics then used Ketamine to sedate McClain, not long after he was dead of what authorities at the time said was a heart attack.
No charges have been brought forward against the officers whose attempts to detain him led to McClain's death.
Local authorities have also ruled out reopening the case but Aurora city officials have promised an independent inquiry.
Petitions and fundraisers
The death of George Floyd and the subsequent mass protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the US have led to renewed calls for an investigation into McClain’s killing.
An online petition calling for a new investigation has collected more than two million signatures with McClain’s story going viral on social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram.
Users shared videos and photos of McClain, including one where he plays the violin to calm animals at a shelter.
A separate GoFundMe page to raise money for McClain’s family has collected more than $700,000 so far.
For nearly a month after George Floyd’s death the anger at the disproportionate violence used by police officers towards black men and women shows now signs of dissipating.
Neither has there been any significant attempt to reform police practices despite some police departments announcing they will ban certain types of chokeholds and limit the use of deadly force.
Democrats in Congress are attempting to pass a raft of measures to curb police behaviour, such as greater accountability for those accused of misconduct and a ban on certain discriminatory practices.
The bill however faces opposition from police unions and many Republicans in both houses of Congress.