July 19, 2024

Paramedics convicted of Elijah McClain homicide


Elijah McClain Arraignment

Source: Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Getty

Elijah McClain would be alive today if it were not for the actions of several police officers and a pair of paramedics.

BOSSIP previously reported on the conviction of former Aurora, Colorado police officer Randy Roedema for negligent homicide and 3rd-degree assault in addition to the acquittal of police officer Nathan Woodyard for homicide and manslaughter. While Woodyard was able to escape accountability for his actions, we anxiously awaited the jury’s decision about the paramedics who unnecessarily injected McClain with ketamine to tranquilize him during his interaction with police.

According to a report in The Guardian, that wait is over.

Elijah McClain Aurora Fire Paramedics Verdict

Source: Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Getty

EMTs Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper were both convicted of criminally negligent homicide in a rare case where medical personnel are held responsible for the death of a civilian in police custody. It should also be noted that Cichuniec was also found guilty of second-degree assault while Cooper was acquitted of his assault charge. During the trial, lawyers for the police argued that McClain’s death was a result of the dangerous levels of ketamine administered by the two EMTs. Cooper and Cichuniec’s lawyers argued that the police were responsible for the 23-year-old’s passing.

“Cichuniec ordered ketamine from the ambulance, and Cooper injected McClain as officers restrained him, reports The Guardian citing the case. Cooper said he estimated McClain’s weight to be roughly 200lbs and administered 500mg of ketamine, about 50mg over the recommended dose for that weight. But Cooper’s estimation of McClain’s size was also dramatically wrong – he weighed around 143lbs, at which 325mg would have been the appropriate dose.

Elijah McClain, Thomas 'Detour' Evans, mural

Source: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Getty

Ultimately, we’re just glad that those involved were punished for their dirty deeds. However, they aren’t the only ones being called into account for McClain’s death. According to CBS News, Aurora city council member Curtis Gardner is demanding that the city’s medical director vacate his post for malpractice.

“These firefighters followed protocols they were given by the medical director and they were just found guilty of criminally negligent homicide,” said Gardner.

“I would like to see those protocols updated and I would like to see a new medical director in the city of Aurora,” he said.

Rest in peace, Elijah McClain. We hope that these verdicts can help bring a modicum of peace to your grieving family.

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