Paramedics Found Guilty in 2019 Death of Elijah McClain

    Paramedics Found Guilty in 2019 Death of Elijah McClain
    Photo: Michael Ciaglo / Stringer [via Getty Images]

    The Facts

    • On Friday, two Colorado paramedics, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, were convicted of criminally negligent homicide for administering a fatal dose of a sedative to Elijah McClain in 2019.

    • McClain, a 23-year-old Black man with no criminal record, was stopped by an Aurora police officer while walking home after a 911 call described him as "sketchy." After he was placed in a chokehold, Cooper and Cichuniec injected McClain with ketamine.


    The Spin

    Left narrative

    This verdict sends a strong message to all of those complicit in police brutality. McClain was administered an overdose of ketamine in an encounter that should have never happened in the first place. Instead of rendering aid to the ailing McClain, the paramedics showed callous disregard for the life of an innocent man. This verdict goes to show that no one is above the law.

    Right narrative

    What happened to McClain is a tragedy, but it was wrong to punish paramedics for making a split-second decision. This unprecedented verdict could have a chilling effect on first responders all over the country and could give paramedics pause when it comes to rendering aid in their line of duty. We can't afford to sacrifice medical discretion in the hunt for accountability in McClain's death.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 1% chance that a large American city will fully abolish its police department before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Political split

    LEFT

    RIGHT

    More neutral political stance articles

    Sign up to our daily newsletter