Elijah McClain: Denver officers fired for pictures mocking man’s death

Three US police officers in Colorado have been sacked after they shared photos re-enacting a chokehold used on a black man who later died.

Elijah McClain, 23, died in August last year after being stopped by police.

Another officer resigned over the matter. A local police chief called the images “beyond comprehension”.

Mr McClain’s case attracted renewed focus in the wake of the death of George Floyd, another unarmed African-American who died in police custody.

The officers who were fired were named as Jason Rosenblatt, Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich. The fourth, Jaron Jones, resigned on Tuesday.

Vanessa Wilson, the acting police chief in the Denver suburb of Aurora, where the incident took place, called the images a crime against humanity and decency.

“We are ashamed, we are sickened, and we are angry about what I have to share,” she told a news conference.

“While the allegations of this internal affairs case are not criminal, they are a crime against humanity and decency. To even think about doing such a thing is beyond comprehension and it is reprehensible.”

One of the pictures shows former officers Dittrich and Jones imitating a neck hold, while Marrero smiles to their left.

Jason Rosenblatt was sent the photos by text and responded “ha ha”.

Chief Wilson said she held off releasing the photos until she could share them with Mr McClain’s family. Their lawyer called the images “appalling”.

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