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City probe faults overall police treatment of Elijah McClain


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DENVER (AP) — An investigation into the arrest of Elijah McClain in suburban Denver criticizes how police handled the entire incident, faulting officers for their quick, aggressive treatment of the 23-year-old Black man and the department overall for having a weak accountability system.

The report from the investigation commissioned by the city of Aurora was released Monday.

It recommends the police department conduct several reviews, including of how its officers are trained to decide whether to stop, frisk and arrest people, and urges the city to consider overhauling how it reviews incidents.

"The speed at which these officers acted to take Mr. McClain into custody, their apparent failure to assess whether there was reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed, and the unity with which the three officers acted suggest several potential training or supervision weaknesses," the report said.

McClain died in 2019 after being put in a neckhold and being injected with ketamine as a sedative after someone reported him as suspicious as he walked down the street wearing a ski mask. His death drew renewed attention last year amid the national reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice and prompted several investigations, including a probe into possible criminal charges by the Colorado Attorney General's Office.

Aurora asked outside investigators to look into the actions of police, firefighters and paramedics in McClain's arrest and also at relevant policies and practices. In the report, the investigators said their task was to try to help prevent another tragedy like McClain's death, not assign blame.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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PATTY NIEBERG and COLLEEN SLEVIN/Report for America

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