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SHERRI SHEPHERD, ELLEN DEGENERES & MORE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR ELIJAH MCCLAIN, WHO DIED IN POLICE CUSTODY LAST YEAR
Saturday, Jul 4, 2020
Elijah McClain is the latest name on the list of unarmed people who have lost their lives at the hands of police. Nearly a year after the 23-year-old died following an altercation with three Aurora police officers, his case is not only gaining national attention by lawmakers but from many celebrities who are demanding justice.
On August 24, 2019, a 911 caller described Elijah as a black male who was “acting weird” and “waving his arms around,” District Attorney Dave Young detailed in the incident report. Although he was wearing a ski mask at the time—as he often did due to his anemia—the caller told dispatchers he was unarmed and had not committed a crime. When approached by three police officers, Elijah “continued walking” and told them “I have a right to go where I am going” and “leave me alone…I am going home.” Things escalated and a struggle ensued when an officer grabbed Elijah’s arm and he resisted. After one of the officers put Elijah in a carotid control hold, intended to restrict blood flow to the brain, he lost consciousness and was injected with 500 mg of ketamine by first responders. He had a heart attack on his way to the hospital, and was declared brain dead 3 days later. Although no one has been charged in his case, Governor Jared Polis announced his office will re-examine the investigation, CNNreports.
Many celebrities have taken to social media to mourn the loss of Elijah, remember his gentle spirit which was described as “an angel among humans” by McClain family lawyer, Mari Newman, and demand that those responsible for his senseless death are held accountable.
Soon-to-be Dish Nation co–host and mother to an autistic son, Sherri Shepherd, shared a heartbreaking video detailing the events that happened to Elijah on that fateful night. “Elijah tried to tell the police he was an introvert and was different but they didn’t care… before he died he said (amongst other things) ‘Forgive me all I was trying to do is become better,'” Sherri captioned her post. “As I kiss my son goodnight, I cry with anguish in my soul. Because soon Jeffrey, who loves the WWE and making people laugh will be out walking wearing his hoodie, (bc it calms his nervous system). What will people think or do to my Baby just bc his skin is brown? We must get justice for Elijah McClain.”
Ellen DeGeneres urged followers to “ask yourself what you would do if it happened to someone you knew.” She also provided contact information for the Governor of Colorado and officials working the case.
Dish Nation co-host Porsha Williams, who has been very vocal during protests against police brutality, shared the heartbreaking story, and wondered how “officers were CLEARED of wrongdoing.” She demanded justice for Elijah and reiterated that the police should be defunded.