Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who passed away after a confrontation with police officers, perished as a result of being administered ketamine by paramedics after being forcibly restrained, according to an updated autopsy report released on Friday.
Who was Elijah McClain?
According to The Cut, Mr. McClain was a massage therapist who loved animals and had taught himself how to play the violin and guitar. A picture of Mr. McClain playing the violin for stray cats has gone viral because he thought the music would calm them down.
More than five million people signed an online petition requesting that the involved officers be removed from duty and that the encounter be thoroughly investigated, and Sheneen McClain, Mr. McClain’s mother, raised more than $2 million through a GoFundMe page she set up.
Ketamine was mentioned in the original autopsy, but not as the cause of death
Police stopped McClain in the summer of 2019 as he was making his way home from a convenience store because they noticed something odd about him. When they aggressively arrested McClain, a Black man, they didn’t have any reason to suspect him of any wrongdoing; instead, they took him to the ground and put him in two carotid choke holds.
When paramedics arrived on the scene and spoke with the officers after handcuffing McClain, the officers mentioned that McClain appeared to possess “superhuman” strength. He was diagnosed with “excited delirium” by the paramedics after about two minutes on the scene. According to the indictment, they reached this conclusion after speaking with police and observing McClain for a minute.
Neither of the paramedics spoke to McClain, touched him, or recorded his vital signs.
After paramedic Jeremy Cooper estimated McClain’s weight to be around 200 pounds, 500 mg of ketamine was given to the patient. The indictment states that McClain should have received a dose of ketamine closer to 325 mg even though he only weighed 143 pounds.
According to the indictment, Cooper allegedly told police, “we’ll just leave him there until the ambulance gets here and we’ll just put him down on the gurney.”
On September 3, 2019, Dr. Stephen Cina, a contract forensic pathologist for Adams County, finished the autopsy after McClain’s demise. Two officers from the Aurora Police Department and two officials from the Adams County District Attorney’s office were present.
The initial autopsy concluded that Elijah McClain, an African-American man aged 23, died of unknown causes. His death was caused by “heavy physical labour and a narrow left coronary artery.”
Although ketamine was extensively discussed in the initial autopsy, Cina concluded that it wasn’t necessarily a contributing factor in McClain’s demise. Ketamine levels of 1400 ng/ML were noted in the original report’s toxicology findings.
The blood ketamine concentration was therapeutic, but Cina stated that it was impossible to rule out an unusual drug reaction. “The therapeutic ketamine levels in the serum and plasma range from 1.0-6.3 mg/L following a single intravenous administration, according to Baselt’s Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man, 8th edition. The dosage given or taken has less of an impact on a fatality than the blood drug concentration that results from it.
Cina also asserted in that initial autopsy that McClain’s struggle with the officers during that examination may have contributed to his demise.
“The decedent was violently resisting the officers’ attempts to hold him down. The decedent’s physical effort most likely contributed to death, the author wrote. It’s unclear whether the officers’ actions also played a role.
Last Words of Elijah Mcclain
I can’t breathe, McClain reportedly said as he was being restrained by police, according to body cam audio. My ID is right here. It’s Elijah McClain who I am. My house is there. I had just left for home. I’m a quiet person. I’m just unique. Just that. So sorry again. I lack a gun. That is not what I do. I don’t engage in any combat. Why are you trying to harm me? I even don’t kill flies! I don’t consume meat.
However, I don’t pass judgment on individuals, including those who eat meat. Pardon me. I was only looking to improve myself. I’ll complete it. I’ll take any action. I’ll give up my identity if I have to. You all are amazing. I adore you and think you are gorgeous. Please try to pardon me.
My mood sign is Gemini. I apologize. So sorry again. Oh, that hurt so much! You all have great strength. The dream is made possible by teamwork. I apologize; I didn’t mean to do that. I simply can’t breathe properly.