Cops Fired For Reenacting Chokehold, Taking Photo At Memorial Site

Aurora interim police chief Vanessa WilsonScreengrab / @CBSNews / Twitter

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The actions of the officers who mocked Elijah McClain’s death are “a crime against humanity and decency.”

According to The Denver Post, Aurora’s interim police chief Vanessa Wilson fired two officers “who posed for a photo last October reenacting a chokehold at the site of Elijah McClain’s violent arrest — a third officer already had resigned — and terminated another officer who received that photo.”

“We are ashamed, we are sickened, and we are angry about what I have to share,” Wilson said at an afternoon news conference. “While the allegations of this internal affairs case are not criminal, they are a crime against humanity and decency. To even think about doing such a thing is beyond comprehension and it is reprehensible.”

  • Officers Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich were fired for posing for the photos with officer Jaron Jones, who resigned on Tuesday after learning he would be terminated, The Denver Post reported. “The official cause of firing all of the officers: conduct unbecoming.”
  • Wilson said she fired Jason Rosenblatt, the officer who received the photo and a second image, because he received the photos digitally and “replied with the inappropriate comment ‘ha ha.’”
  • Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman agreed with Wilson’s decision, but “added that the city must act beyond the firings, including completing the independent investigation into McClain’s death,” the report continued.

“We must ensure that we have the answers our community needs, city leadership needs, and most importantly, Elijah’s family deserves,” he said in a statement. “We will have a police department that reflects our community’s demographics, values and culture. We cannot and will not accept anything less. This is an important step in that process, and it’s a process that will continue in order to restore trust.”

“Aurora city leaders are deciding on a third-party investigator to delve into the officers’ actions last August,” The Denver Post concluded.

Read the full report here.

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