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Prosecutors want to display improved bodycam footage of Elijah McClain’s deadly police confrontation

Protesters nationally highlighted McClain’s death and that of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others as police brutality against Black people.

A new coroner’s report concluded that paramedics’ potent sedative killed McClain, 23, in 2021. The police were prosecuted.

Policemen Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt deny criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, and assault.

 A third policeman and two paramedics will be prosecuted later this year, the first of many McClain death costs.

Audio and video forensics expert David Notowitz said Thursday he brightens gloomy footage and removes sirens to improve criminal body camera evidence.

The unedited August 24, 2019, film shows McClain pleading with police and crying, “I can’t breathe.” However, prosecution-hired expert Notowitz has never shown the amended tape.

Defense counsel questioned an edited film sequence. Judge Mark Warner told the jury to ignore the better footage if they couldn’t in the original.

Prosecutors saw the original body camera film, according to Aurora Police Department bodycam program manager Lt. Delbert Tisdale.

Thursday’s courtroom saw McClain’s mother Sheneen again in the front row.

In August, a 911 caller stopped Aurora, Colorado, massage therapist McClain late at night for wearing a ski mask.

Family said McClain wore the mask because anemia made him cold. His relatives and friends remember him as a compassionate introvert who played violin for rescue animals.

The body camera footage of him saying “I’m just different” indicates his doubt.

By establishing the stop was unlawful, prosecutors might discredit McClain’s assertion that police were acting properly.

Both lawyers described the incident differently in their Wednesday opening statements.

Police ignored McClain’s cries, violating training, prosecutors claimed.

The prosecutor, Jonathan Bunge, said McClain was drowning in vomit after the neck hold. He dies.” He needs no sedation.”

The officers obeyed department rules, but defense counsel called the death terrible. They blamed paramedics.

According to Roedema’s attorney Reid Elkus, Paramedic Jeremy Cooper killed Mr. McClain by administering 1.7-1.8 times the ketamine dose for his weight and girth. Pathologist Stephen Cina concluded that 140-pound McClain overdosed on wrong dosage.

Cina thinks police constraint killed him. Officer Nathan Woodyard, who will be tried later this year, approached McClain first, then Roedema and Rosenblatt.

Starting with headphones, McClain walked. Woodyard wrenched McClain’s shoulders in 10 sec. Woodyard cautioned McClain, “Relax, or I’m going to have to change this situation,” as he battled to depart

Police restrained him as the incident intensified. McClain was put out by a cop’s carotid artery chokehold.

After 15 minutes on the ground, paramedics gave McClain 500 mg ketamine. After a heart attack on the way to the hospital, he was taken off life support three days later.

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Written by Anthony Peters