Four million sign petition demanding justice for Elijah McClain, killed by police while buying iced tea

  • 01/07/2020

An online petition demanding justice for a 23-year-old African American who died after he was put in a chokehold by police has reached four million signatures.

The police involved have not faced criminal charges since the incident in August 2019. The petition calls for the officers to be held accountable.

The outrage resurfaces as Black Lives Matter protests ramp up in the United States after the death of George Floyd in May, shedding light on former cases of police brutality.

Massage therapist Elijah McClain was walking home after buying iced tea from the local shops when a 911 caller reported him as suspicious, The New York Times reports.

He was then stopped and restrained in a carotid hold, cutting blood flow to the brain. Police body-camera footage shows McClain vomiting, begging and telling the officers he can't breathe. 

After 15 minutes of restraint, paramedics arrived and injected him with a powerful sedative, and he died of cardiac arrest a few days later.

According to The Guardian, Colorado's governor Jared Polis appointed state attorney general Phil Weiser to investigate McClain's death on June 25, 2020.

At a violin vigil to commemorate McClain, who enjoyed playing his violin to stray cats, police dressed in riot gear dispersed crowds of peaceful protestors using pepper spray.

Friends and family told The Guardian McClain wanted to change the world and was loved by everyone he met.

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