Cop who stopped Elijah McClain fired over chokehold photos

Cheryl Sanders
July 4, 2020

Three Colorado police officers have been fired and a fourth has resigned after they shared photographs they took of themselves re-enacting a chokehold that officers used to subdue a Black man who later died. Rosenblatt responded with a text saying, "Haha".

'Just when we thought the Aurora Police could not be any worse, they somehow find a new low, ' the McClain family said in a statement.

According to a report by ABC 7 Denver, Jones submitted his resignation on Tuesday before he was handed down his discipline by the chief.

The image shows Jones pretending to choke another officer, while Marrero and Dittrich look on and laugh.

Officials with the Aurora Police Association, the department's police union, haven't returned calls seeking comment Thursday or Friday.

"This is her son", Wilson said.

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. That came after an internal review by the Aurora Police Department cleared the officers involved of wrongdoing, and the district attorney said there was no criminality in the incident.

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman in a statement called the officers' photographs "appalling and inexcusable".

Four officers were involved in the incident. "I agree with Interim Chief Wilson's decisions, but this is not the end of our response. We must ensure that we have the answers our community needs, city leadership needs, and most importantly, Elijah's family deserves".

KDVR-TV FOX31 has learned that Officer Jason Rosenblatt, who was sacked Friday for his response to photos at the Elijah McClain memorial, was also involved in the initial incident involving McClain. Dittrich, Marrero and Jones were on duty and had completed a service call in the 1700 block of North Billings Street, near where McClain was arrested in August.

An unspecified number of the officers were suspended during the investigation, and one resigned this week.

Two other officers who were on the scene, including the one who put McClain in a chokehold, are still on the police force. Federal authorities said they also were considering an investigation into the photos.

During the confrontation, McClain said he could not breathe, according to audio recordings released by police.

The agencies said releasing the existence of a continuing investigation is done only when it is in "the best interest of the public and public safety".

When Jones was asked by investigators if he was trying to simulate the carotid control hold, he said, "I believe that to be accurate, sir".

McClain's death got new attention following nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice. They did, and McClain subsequently suffered a heart attack; he died in the hospital days later. Police placed him in a chokehold, and paramedics administered 500 milligrams of sedative to calm him down.

The officers stopped McClain, a massage therapist, after a 911 call on August 24 reported him as suspicious because he was wearing a ski mask and flailing his arms.

Other reports by iNewsToday