By Xion Abiodun
As a Black person in America I do not expect much out of the U.S. “justice system”, but then again why should I? I have constantly been seeing my people being murdered by killer cops on TV since I was five. For the first time in 17 years I am starting to see the police being held accountable for their terrorist acts against Black people.
On August 24th, 2019, Elijah McClain was murdered by the Aurora police in Colorado. He was walking back home from the store when someone called 911 reporting that he looked sketchy, and was wearing a ski mask. When the police arrived at the scene they put Mcclain in a carotid hold, and then called paramedics. When the paramedics arrived they injected Elijah with Ketamine. Mind you, McClain had no weapons on him, and he wasn’t harassing anybody, so the whole encounter was unnecessary and ridiculous. On his way to the hospital he had a heart attack, and was pronounced dead six days later. No charges were made that year. Because of his tragic death over 4 million signatures have been collected on an online petition demanding that there be an in-depth investigation.
To everybody who signed the petition, your voice matters, and because of our collective effort to bring awareness to this case, the police and paramedics who were involved in his death are now being charged with criminally negligent homicide, and manslaughter, which is a part of the 32 count indictment. Dave Young, Adams County D.A. didn’t charge anybody in the case in 2019 because he said prosecutors did not have evidence to prove the officers caused McClain’s death or that their force was unjustified. But with his case going viral on social media, and millions of people signing petitions demanding justice, Colorado’s governor decided to re-examine the case.
“I started crying because it’s been two years. It’s been a long journey, you know, and it’s overwhelming. I’m still processing it, you know, because this is one of those things that has never really been done, and is being done right here because of my son, so it’s overwhelming,” said Ms. Sheneen McClain, Elijah McClain’s mother, via a phone interview on CNN.
“Nothing will bring back my son, but I am thankful that his killers will finally be held accountable,” said Mr. LaWayne Mosley, the father of Elijah McClain through his attorney.
Without the outrage from the public, McClain’s death would have been swept under the rug. He would’ve just been another countless victim against police terrorism. This just shows us that our voices do matter! When we are signing petitions, demanding and raising awareness about the case online, government officials are watching and listening! What happened to Elijah should’ve never happened, and his murderers being indicted won’t bring him back, but at least they will finally be held accountable for their disastrous actions. If you happen to come across any petitions demanding justice, sign it, your voice really does matter!