Amended Autopsy Report: Elijah McClain Died from Sedative

Photo: nbc

The Facts

  • An amended autopsy report released Friday by a Denver District Court Chief Judge revealed that Elijah McClain – a Black man killed in police custody in Aurora, Colo. in 2019 – died of ketamine overdose administrated by paramedics while forcibly detained.

  • The original autopsy report, which was written shortly after McClain’s death, didn't conclude how he died, or whether his death was natural, accidental, or a result of homicide.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

The police shouldn’t be rewarded with more federal funding, which Congress plans to give them. Instead, there should be more sweeping overhauls - including passing the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act. Tragedies like this show both the failures of many police procedures and the extent that the current system enables them.

Pro-establishment narrative

The bills currently working their way through Congress seek to provide meaningful reform for police departments as an institution. It's more than just an increase in funding - this legislation would also help the police de-escalate confrontations with the public, and provide better training, body cameras, and access to mental health assistance. Substantial law enforcement reform can happen by working within the current system.

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